About our blogger: Smithers

Visit Smithers @

Posts by Smithers:

August 14th, 2014

B’s Adventure Part 1: A Nap Bait and Switch, Neon Green Poop, and a Route Inspection

Last Saturday, when I was fresh off of finishing up time with students, I put the kids down for a nap and thought out loud, “hmmm…should I go on a bike ride or take a nap?” B said, “you should take a nap. You look pretty tired.”

My droopy eyelids agreed and a headed upstairs, closed our room darkening curtains, turned on the fan and laid down for a glorious nap. I was roused from my drool-inducing slumber a bit later to realize that B was getting cycling clothes out of the closet. I remember being somewhat miffed that he had convinced me to nap instead of riding. and then went riding himself..but then quickly fell back asleep.

About 3 hours later, the phone woke me up. It was B. He had decided to ride part of our potential new Brewery 100 route to do a bit of an inspection of the roads to see if they were biker friendly. “Hey Boss, wanna meet me in Frederick for some bbq in a little while?” I groggily replied, “Sure!” It doesn’t matter how groggy I am…you mention food and I am on it.

The kids woke up soon after and after some snacks to control the hanger, I loaded them into the Chariot and went on a quick-ish 2.5 mile run. If B was going to get in a good ride…then I was going to do something besides slumber. Read the rest of this entry »


August 5th, 2014

Places I’ve Pumped Part 3 — The Time it Got Awkward

Or: Thank you ObamaCare!

Or: I Just Met You…and This is Crazy.

I planned to present the “Places I’ve Pumped” Series in chronological order, but this one was too good to not instantly tell. And by “good” I mean “terribly awkward.”

I am district trainings and workshops this whole week. Long sessions in different buildings — the recipe for great “Places I’ve Pumped” stories.

Today, I found a lovely little store room. I unpacked my stuff near an outlet, got everything plugged in, and grabbed my pump parts. GASP. I forgot my shields. Crap! I can’t pump without my shields! What am I going to do?!?! I can’t run home and I caaaaaan’t make it until 2 without pumping. Crap! Crap! Crap! Read the rest of this entry »

July 2nd, 2014


Last weekend, B and I came to the realization that if we are going to log any miles on the bike — it will probably have to be alone.

So, on Sunday I fought the urge — the oh-so-very strong urge — to nap once the kids went down for a nap. I changed into my spandex and got the bike ready while B ran to the hardware store for some yard-cleaning supplies. Once he got home, he gave me a quick tutorial on how to use the carbon cartridges in case I got a flat (yeah, I know…I should know how to use them by now). And I was off.

I planned on doing our quick 18-ish mile loop. However, when I got to a possible turn-off to add some miles, I found myself quickly swooping into the turn lane and heading towards Hygiene. I started to doubt my decision when I looked at the sky.

This was to my left…

But this was to my right… Read the rest of this entry »

June 13th, 2014

Places I’ve Pumped #2

Back in February, I was in charge of putting on our district Science Fair. Over 300 students (high school and middle school) from across our district come present their projects and over 130 judges interview them. It is a long day that is the product of months of planning.

It is held at the state university in town and we use the ball room in the student union for all the displays and interviews. There were 2 other nursing moms — so when the “mommy time” came around, I set out to find us a place to pump. I asked the nice gentleman at the help desk.

“Excuse me, sir. This is a bit awkward, but I am wondering Read the rest of this entry »


May 13th, 2014

Professional Smithers Life

Things have been a movin’ and a shakin’ in Smithersland.

Life has been busy — not just because of the wee ones, but also because things have been happening for me professionally.

In April, I had a quick trip to Boston to present at a national science teachers’ conference. I wrote two proposals and BOTH got accepted, so I had double the fun to prepare for. Not only that — one of the presentations included hands-on physical science activities. This meant that I had to schlepp (sp?) cabbage juice, calcium chloride, baking soda, spring scales, copper wire, batteries, and light bulbs in a suit case.

I wrote this note for TSA and put it in my checked bag. Read the rest of this entry »

May 1st, 2014

The Last Time…

Breastfeeding can be hard…but working and breastfeeding is e.x.h.a.u.s.t.i.n.g.

It requires that I get up earlier to start my day, scramble to find time to pump twice while at work, wash and prepare pumping supplies, and constantly worry about trying…desperately…to keep up with Squishy Baby.

It is easy to get frustrated and tired and irritated and negative and complain-y about it. I was thinking about all this when I ran across a blog post about The Ache.

The perspective of remembering that this is the last time in my life that I will have such a noble and meaningful role for my body, that this is the last time that I will have squishy little hands playing with my hoodie strings while chugging away, that this the last time that I will be needed so much by a little person, that this is the last time that a gummy little smile will peek up at me in the middle Read the rest of this entry »

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.