Thursday, December 18, 2008

Baby's first Christmas tree

This time last year I made the mental note that it would probably be the last Christmas for the rest of our married couple lives that we would spend just the two of us. I had that thought several times throughout the last few weeks of December .... watching my nieces and nephew open gifts at my Mom's house, driving through Winterhaven looking at the lights, lounging around the house on Christmas Day watching movies, and New Year's parties. It turns out that I was right! Now that little Devon is here I am excited about Christmas in a totally new way. I even made up a Christmas card and sent out a few of them, something I never thought I would do.

This past Sunday (December 14th) we bundled up the baby and headed over to the Christmas tree lot to pick one out. It was the first day that it really felt like December because it was cold and damp and a little over cast .... my favorite weather. The kind of weather that makes you want to stay in bed all day with your husband and your baby, covered in blankets, wearing soft pajamas, reading, napping, and drinking hot chocolate. All the ladies at the tree lot were cooing and smiling at him and going on and on about how cute he was. We brought the tree home and got it in place in the living room by the windows. It smells amazing! Joe and I decorated it last night and put the baby on the couch to watch. His little eyes lit up and he kicked his legs and arms like crazy. He was really into it. I put out the few holiday decorations that I have and the house looks the level of festive that I am comfortable with ;)

I am surprised that I enjoy decorating the tree as much as I do. I think there were a few years that it felt like one more thing that I had to get done and didn't have time or money for, but this year it felt like a tradition. Like the start of a tradition for Devon and our little family. I hope that as he gets older he knows that Christmas is about giving, spending time with family, celebrating traditions, having fun and good food.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2 months: Devon (November)

Seriously? Is he so handsome or what? So dreamy ....

Devon: 2.5 .... as in 2 and a half months. He is so big. Literally. I took him to the doctor last week and he grew 4 inches and 4 pounds in a month! "They" say that kids grow up so fast, but seriously! He is above the 90th percentile for height. Who would have thought with my gene pool that I would have a tall kid. I noticed that he seemed taller when I put him on the changing table and he definitely was out growing some of his clothes. That part was sadder than I thought it would be to know that he was no longer a tiny newborn .... oohh poor Mama!

At that same doctor visit he had to have shots unfortunately. He was able to drink one of them, but the other 5 had to go in his thighs. 3 in one and 2 in the other. This will happen every 2 months over the next year. So sad, but he came through it like a champ and stopped crying once I picked him up. I am magical.

Anyway we are working on doing more tummy time everyday to help him lift that giant head of his ;) His head is actually statistically smaller than average, but he can't lift it completely so it seems giant. Sometimes I call him "head" the way they did in "So I married an axe murderer" in a Scottish accent. He thinks it's funny. So do I.

*The picture was taken by my beautiful and talented (and preggo) older sister, Katy, during her visit to Tucson for Thanksgiving. Bonjourno!*

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Plans: past and present

10 YEARS AGO .......
1. I graduated high school (has it been that long already!?!).
2. Moved out of my parent's house.
3. Was working 3 jobs to make ends meet.
4. Going to school at Pima Community College.
5. Was dating my high school sweetheart Joe. (by then it was 2 years)

1. De-clutter the house enough to clean it.
2. Spend time with Joe and baby D.
3. Make a music mix for my yoga classes that I teach tonight.
4. Teach my yoga classes.
5. Watch Dexter.

1. Saint Andre cheese on rosemary crackers with a glass of red wine
2. Apple or blue raspberry licorice made in Arizona.
3. Popcorn with Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper
4. Cosmos (yes .... that counts as a snack)
5. Pomegranates

1. Pay off our house.
2. Set aside money for college (bachelors, masters, and PhD), wedding, and trust fund for Devon (and one potential, future child) in addition to college funds for my neices and nephews.
3. Travel.
4. Go back to school for a bachelors and masters degrees in art history and any other degree until the end of time!
5. Record more music.

1. Tucson. The first place I lived in (after I moved out of my parents house) was a small, one-bedroom house and then 4 aparements after that. We moved into our current home about 3 years ago. Originally, we intended this house to be a spec that we would sell, but fell in love with it soon after construction began and decided to keep it.

1. Yoga Oasis
2. Canyon Ranch
3. La Petite Academy
4. TGI Friday's
5. Dairy Queen (my first job when I was just 15)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Performance at the Fox

About 7 months ago I was getting ready to record my 2nd Kirtan (Indian chanting) album. I wanted to "clean up" my voice before going into the recording studio so I decided to take some voice lessons. I have been in choir since I was a little girl, but have yet to take a formal lesson. Joe met a guy at a poker game who gave lessons (who has the most amazing voice) so I met with him. We had a few sessions and he invited me to perform at an event that he organizes every year called "Music for the Soul". It is a charity concert that raises money for Meals on Wheels, elder care groups, and single mothers groups. It is an ensemble of performers that represent spiritual cultures around the world. They had an African dance and singing group, a Native American group, a Christian choir, and Buddhist monk among others. I heard a couple people say,"Where is the Indian girl who is doing the chanting?" and saw the confused looks on their faces when they realized that I was "it". People were surprised to find out that a blonde-haired-blue-eyed-all-American-girl was doing Indian chanting. I performed with Beth Daunis, a violinist, who also was a part of the upcoming cd.

Performing at the Fox theater was such a thrill. It was built in 1929 and was recently renovated. It is an iconic, historical landmark in Tucson and is in the center of downtown Tucson. It seats about 1,300 people and nearly 1,000 were at the performance easily making it the largest audience I have performed in front of. I usually sing to my students at the end of a yoga class which, at the most, was only 60 people. I was pretty nervous, but I tried to get into the spirit of the evening and have fun with it.

My husband, Joe, my sister Jane and her husband, my father-in-law and sister-in-law all came to watch me. My mother-in-law really saved the day and stayed home to babysit my six week old baby. I didn't really tell many people about the concert because if I screwed it up I didn't want everyone to watch it happen, but at the last minute I invited family. I was so touched that they not only came to the show, but wanted to show their support. It meant SO much to me to have them there.

After the show was over we congregated in the lobby and chatted with audience members. They were so complimentary, but I really appreciated those who thanked me for being a part of creating an experience. I got to meet the mayor of Tucson, Bob Walkup, who sought me out to find out more about my instrument, a harmonium.

In spite of all my reservations and nervousness it was a great experience. Every opportunity is an opportunity to grow. Being a part of this concert bolstered my confidence as a singer/songwriter and gave me the chance to represent the yoga community in a positive way.

*The cd is due out in the next couple of months. It will be available on itunes and on my website at It is called "Lullabies".*

Saturday, November 1, 2008

First Halloween


I wasn't even planning on getting Devon a costume this year, but I couldn't pass this one up. He's so small and we didn't have plans to even go anywhere so I figured what's the point? But ... Joe suggested that I get him something so I went online to a bunch of baby costume websites. There were bunnies and monkeys, but when I saw the "Car freshener" I laughed out loud and knew that I had found "the one". I ordered it from (the cheapest by far) on Wednesday afternoon and by Friday afternoon it arrived. He really only wore it for about 5 minutes at a time because he would get too hot, but it was long enough to snap some pictures and have a good laugh. We ended up going to Joe's sister's house for a Halloween party where the adults ate and talked and then took the nieces and nephews trick-or-treating.

Again ... hilarious.

This is what he wore under his tree costume. Sort of a costume within a costume. I called it his "frat boy" outfit. Later in the evening he even threw up on himself when he drank too much which I thought was a nice touch. It made it more authentic ;) Aunt Bizus (it's really Elizabeth, but some of the little kids have trouble with that so it comes out "Bizus" which I think is adorable) gave me the onesie and I got the hat with puppy ears months ago. I don't know where she finds this stuff, but I love it!

Last year I totally forgot it was Halloween and I was the lame lady who gave out granola bars to all the teenagers, but not this year. I went to Costco and got a huge bag of chocolate candy bars and I was ready. I took half the bag to the party with us and left the other half in a bowl on the porch. I don't really like chocolate so I figured if one kid showed up and took the whole bowl that I was fine with that. However, when we got home it looked like it hadn't been touched so now I am stuck with all this candy. I guess I will take it to the yoga studio tomorrow and let my students have it.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

1 month: Devon (October)

I can't believe that little Devon is 4 weeks old today. He is so big! I mean he's still really little, but so big compared to when he was born. He totally has his own personality and is a pretty chilled out kid. That's what Joe calls him .... "the kid". He is getting better at navigating his head and is figuring out how to work his hands and feet. He is definitely taking more of an interest in faces and objects so it is cute to see him look so thoughtful.

He is going through an "I want to he held all the time" phase which I have to admit I am sort of enjoying. I know that there will be a day so soon that he won't let me hold him at all so I am relishing this time to snuggle. Sometimes it is a little inconvenient to hold him such as when I am trying to make dinner or do laundry so I went online and ordered a baby sling so I can be more hands free if I need to be. I know that he can't be held all the time (and it's probably not good to do that all the time anyway), but it is nice when I know he needs the comfort to be able to have the sling to make it easier.

Joe has been really great about coming home during the day so I can go to the gym. Sidebar: Joe and I LOVE to watch MMA fighting (that's mixed martial arts fighting or the UFC cage fighting). Most fighters get a nickname or a fighting name that is the first name, the nickname, and then their last name. It is announced when they come out to fight. So I come home from the gym and Joe starts to hand me Devon and he says," And in this corner it's Devon "Don't put me down" Smith!" "Devon "Don't let my feet touch the ground" Smith!" "Devon "Hold me all day long" Smith!" There are more, but you get the idea. Funny Daddy.

I know I did it totally last minute, but I ordered a Halloween costume today for Baby D that if it arrives on time will be THE FUNNIEST costume of all time! I need to get a back up just in case, but I hope to be able to post pictures of a truly hilarious 1st Halloween costume.

Finally, I know it is cheesy, but I thought it would be cool to write Devon a letter about his first month of life, sealed in an envelope to give to him when he's older. Details about his birth, my hopes for him for the future, and all that other mushy stuff. I figure I'll give it to him when he graduates high school or gets married or something. I think that this time when he is little is such a special bonding time that he won't even remember so I want him to at least be able to read about what happened and know that his Mama covered him in kisses everyday ;)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

3 weeks

Baby Devon is now 3 weeks old and we are getting into a routine .... meaning he cries and I change him, feed him, snuggle him or hand him off to Daddy. It's funny how you have all these fears before they are born like "How will I know when he's hungry?" "How will I know what to do?" "Will I even like being a Mom?" and then they're born and it seems ridiculous that you had these fears in the first place and that instinct just kicks in. I often worried since he can't speak that I would have a hard time knowing what he wanted and yet I can have deep, intellectual conversations with my cats and know exactly what they need. I am learning his cries for food, for snuggling and for "I'm fine. I'm crying, but I'm fine". I can remember my life before he was born and it was a great life, but there is so much more love in the house with him here.

I taught my first yoga class since giving birth and it felt so different. One of my students even said that I seem different. I am! Having a baby really changes you. It has only been 3 weeks, but I felt reasonably ready to go back. Maybe it's because he is still new to me and I'm getting used to everything or maybe I am permanently different ... who knows. I felt a little off my game to be honest. I was physically in the room, but I was so distracted it was maddening. I know it will come back to me, but it will take a little time. I am surprised at how much I enjoy being a Mom. It is such a total, complete shift in every facet of my life from my diet, to my sleep to what I wear, but I love taking care of Devon and miss him when he's sleeping.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Introducing ....

Devon Joseph Smith
Born September 30th
7:33 am
7 lbs 2.4 oz
20 inches long

He has arrived! He was 2 weeks early, but we were ready for him. I was in labor nearly 12 hours making for a very long night. My water broke while I was asleep (Monday) so when I got up I wasn't sure what had happened. I went about my day cleaning, getting a massage, and going to the grocery store to get food for dinner. I called my doctor around 3:00 because there was a lot of "fluid" and she suggested I got to the hospital just to be safe. I thought, "Yeah right. There is no way I was going to go into labor today. I still have 2 weeks." So I grabbed my hospital bag (just in case) and went to the emergency room. The nurse checked me out and sure enough .... my water broke. I said to her, "You've GOT to be kidding?!?!" I even asked her if I could go home and come back when I was feeling contractions and she didn't even answer me she just laughed.

I was admitted and called Joe. Having to tell your husband that you are going into labor and he needs to get to the hospital because we are going to have a baby soon is one of many surreal experiences. He arrived and the "hurry up and wait" game began.

Even though my water broke early in the morning, by 8:00 pm I still wasn't having strong contractions so they put me on Pitocin. My contractions went from painless and somewhat sporadic to immediately painful and 4 minutes apart. I dilated from 1 to 9 cm about 4 hours. There wasn't a gradual buildup of pain it just hurt .... a lot. I wasn't sure that I wanted an epidural so I had them give me some morphine. All that did was make the room spin. I went into the birth experience ambivalent about an epidural ..... if I wanted one I would get it and if I didn't I would skip it. At 9:30 pm they told me to expect to be in labor until noon the following day. I got the epidural ;)

A few hours later my nurse noticed that the baby's heart rate was irregular. I had to turn from one side to the other to try and figure out what was causing it to be irregular and to figure out a way to normalize it. I started with one nurse in the room to suddenly a mix of 5 doctors and nurses with anxious looks on their faces. If the the heart rate did not rebound within an hour I would have to have a C-section. Long story short his heart rate normalized, everything was OK as far as they could tell, and it was time to push!

I literally pushed for 2 contractions and he came out! The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck explaining the heart rate problems earlier. I didn't see his face right away, but I did see his tiny little hands with all his tiny little fingers up in the air. They cleaned him off and handed him to Joe who, though eager to help, has very little experience with babies. Holding the baby out in front on him like a football he said, "What do I do with it?" He sat and held him while the doctor finished up with me. Again, another surreal experience ..... watching my husband, my high school sweetheart, my best friend hold our baby for the first time.

I stayed at the hospital for 2 says following the delivery. By the last day I was more than ready to leave. Joe even mentioned that he wanted us to come home so we could start our lives as a family. We've been home a few days now and it has been great. Not without its problems, but a very sweet experience. Believe it or not the little man slept for 3-4 hours at a time through the night so I only had to get up 3 times. I almost wanted him to cry so I could go in and hold him. He is just the sweetest baby I have ever seen.

He is a dream come true.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's the final count down

It seems odd to me to start a blog when I am about to have a baby any day now, but I guess now is as good a time as any. First let me say that I am not a blogger. I pride myself on my "aloofness", but constantly find myself getting sucked into these internet things by friends and family. This is also the reason I have a myspace. However, they do have some value in that they allow us to stay connected during those times when we don't have time to make a phone call, send a quick email or, as a last resort, send a "snail mail" card.

I am 38 weeks pregnant and my due date is October 10th. I know that only 5% of babies are actually born on their due dates (although more common now with the option of C-sections and inducing), but I would love for him to be born on 10.10.08. My birthday is 2.2. and my mom's is 11.11. so it would be a cool thing for all of us to share that same month/same date birthday thing. I also like the idea of 10.9.08. I have a thing with numbers ;) If he doesn't come out on his own by then, I will be induced on the 10th.

The nursery has been ready for weeks. I have even put together the stroller, swing, and stocked the diaper stacker with the cutest newborn diapers. They're cute to me now, but I know I won't always feel that way about them. I had a shopping list of things to get for my hospital stay and now with that list finished all I need to do is have the baby.

I have gone though this pregnancy with 3 friends of mine and 2 of them had their daughters in the past week. Holding a newborn is so amazing and surreal it makes having my own a little scary. When people ask me if I'm ready I respond with,"Of course. I mean, as ready as I can be for the biggest event of my life." I still have one friend who is 5 weeks behind me and my older sister, Kate, is due in March. I couldn't be more excited for her.

At this point I am getting the house put together and enjoying these last weeks of taking it easy. I still teach a few yoga classes a week and have enjoyed interacting with my students throughout this process. They have been so lovely and supportive. I have lost some interest in watching TV and am officially back into reading. I think that reading has helped me get onto a more normal sleep schedule because I read in bed so I fall asleep when I'm tired not when the show is over.

I have been so lucky to have had such an easy pregnancy. I didn't have any morning sickness, I ran up until my 8th month, I still work out (though much less and low intensity) and continue with my yoga practice. I know that life as I know it now is about to change, but I think it will make everything so much more meaningful. I can already tell that it will bring me closer to my parents and siblings which has been such a comfort. I think it will strengthen the bond I have with my husband as we share this experience together. I am so excited to meet my son and begin this new adventure as a bigger family of three.