About our blogger: Smithers

Visit Smithers @

Posts by Smithers:

April 21st, 2014

A Straw Poll

One of the things I tend to struggle with is drinking enough water during the day. And when nursing and providing anywhere from 21-28 oz a day for bottles at daycare for Squishy Baby, drinking water is really important.

I found that I would fill up my Nalgene water bottle at the beginning of the day, carry it with me everywhere, and barely drink half a Liter.

Then, I read some anecdotal evidence that drinking out of a cup with a straw increases your daily water intake. So, I took the only cup we had with a straw to school. The problem was that the only cup we had happened to be the freebie I got from the hospital when I had Spark. It had pictures of babies on the side and my 8th graders made fun of me and told me it was creepy.

Babies or not…I drank a TON more with a cup with a straw. I told myself that if it really worked Read the rest of this entry »


April 2nd, 2014

Dear Ranger Dave,

Hello there. Yeah. You. The one in the ball cap Ranger hat. Oh, is that Lady Ranger next to you? Yeah. She is included in this, too.

We only have 3 days left for you to sign up for RAGBRAI on our team, so I going to present my case of why you should sign up for the full week.

Exhibit A: Watcha gonna remember in 10 years?
Are you going to remember staying home and tending to your desert garden or are you going to remember having the time of your life with the All Star Team Beaver? Yeah. You know the answer.

Also, one time I was on RAGBRAI when I was 6 weeks pregnant. B asked me the “Watcha gonna remember in 10 years?” question and this was the result: Read the rest of this entry »

March 26th, 2014

Coming Up For Air

Whew. That was rough.

My first three weeks back to work are now under my belt.

I shouldn’t say that it was rough — I mean, Baby Girl sleeps through the night and transitioned well at day care, my re-entry to the classroom only had a few small bumps, and I managed to keep up with Spark’s appetite in the pumping department (quite the feat…that girl loves to eat!). It could have been a whole lot rougher!

The biggest difference between going back to work with one kid vs. two kids is that Read the rest of this entry »

March 17th, 2014

Places I’ve Pumped #1

A few weeks ago, B and I took the kids back to Iowa to visit family. We don’t have any grandparents out here in CO, so we decided to take advantage of free babysitters while we were back.

We flew in on Friday and convinced Normie to go to an ISU basketball game with us the next day…and then got her to drive. In the snow. Heh.

Squishy Baby stayed with B’s mom and sister, and Zeb hung out with my parents. I had brought 2 bottles worth of milk on the flight, so we were good to be gone for a good chunk of time.

We had some brews at our old familiar bar, Welch Ave. Station, and then got a warm ride to the colliseum with two nice old guys, Bob and Tom. After halftime (once the beer was out of my system), I headed to the bathroom to pump. I had my battery pack with me and found a nice big stall. It was very clean and I was able to hang my bag near the door of the stall.

Not ideal, but I didn’t want to miss much of the game finding somewhere else.


February 27th, 2014

I Can’t Believe I Actually Had to Say This…

I teach 8th grade and every day is a new adventure. While all days are exhausting, most are at least somewhat amusing.

“Colton, please stop drinking sparkling apple juice from an empty chip bag!”

Yep, I actually had to say that today.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Sidenote: I do have to hand it to the kid. He didn’t have a cup, so he ate all the chips out of the bag, folded the top down and fashioned his own cup. The downside? Sour Cream and Onion Sparkling Apple Juice. Yuck.

January 27th, 2014

Baby Food!

I made my own baby food with Sprocket and wanted to do the same with Spark. I realized I never really documented any of it and wanted to put together a post that showed some of the process.

The underlying theme is the same regardless of the food…cut, steam/boil, puree.

$13.85 worth of produce

Read the rest of this entry »

January 16th, 2014

Potty Training Success: Three Turds at the Brewery

Potty Training is no joke. We had two ramp-ups to potty training that both ended in a crabby toddler and over-stressed parents.

Last spring break we did the whole “lets just hang out naked and wait for the potty bell to go off every 10 minutes” approach. Sprocket was very confused by the pee coming out of his body and after three days and, literally, hours on the potty, he still wasn’t getting it.

Oh, Elmo.
He would sit and read books on the potty for hours….

I decided that I didn’t want my spring break to be cooped up inside Read the rest of this entry »


December 31st, 2013

A Planking Spanking

When Normie challenged me to the 30 Day Plank Challenge…I thought it would be easy. B and I religiously planked for about 5 days, then forgot a day, then caught up, then forgot three days, then gave up. Pathetic.

Then, B’s dad, Mr. Smitty, came to town and mentioned that he had also started…and finished…the planking challenge. Read the rest of this entry »

December 18th, 2013

Big Girl Pants: Life is Sweet…and Salty…and Full of Coke

I have been stuck in this weird twilight zone between maternity leave and going back to work. My sub has been pretty overwhelmed, so I went back for a total of 3 days to teach the Science Fair to my lovely 8th graders.

So, that means grading, lesson planning, and parent emails — without actually going back full time. Trying to juggle all that with a baby and a toddler is quite difficult. Due to some annoying daycare ultimatums, we had to enroll Sprocket in daycare earlier than planned to save his spot. So, even though it sucks to pay full time rates, it is nice to have a few days a week to get some work done.

Part of going back has meant tackling the fact that I have pretty much no pants and few shirts that actually fit. I have been rotating between yoga pants, a pair of 6-year-old Nike workout pants, and a pair of “early maternity” khakis (I wore them between 16 and 30 weeks before they got too tight). I have two pairs of jeans that I can squeeze into, but they are far from comfortable and give me severe muffin top, which I can only disguise with a few loose shirts that I own. None of these items are really appropriate to wear to school.

So, this past Tuesday, I headed to Wal-Mart to buy myself some big girl pants. Read the rest of this entry »

December 10th, 2013

Putting the Run Back in See Teacher Run

It has been a while. A long while. The problem with having a blog, is that it documents everything — even how long it has been since I ran. The last post I wrote about running was December 8th. DECEMBER 8TH!

I am not quite ready to run yet, but I am ready to begin planning my return to running. But I want to talk about 3 things: The Numbers, The Motivation, The Goal.

The Numbers
I am going to be completely honest with numbers, which is hard. I started Sprocket’s pregnancy at 166 pounds and I was in the middle of the RAGBRAI Royalty Challenge. I started Spark’s pregnancy at 174. Research shows that because I didn’t keep those 8 pounds off between pregnancies, I will have a lot of trouble getting those pounds off. So, my aim is to get down to at least 174, with a long term goal of 165.

At my last preggo appointment Read the rest of this entry »