Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Joy of Breastfeeding

A post about breastfeeding my first child and my experience.

Looking back over the years, some of my best memories include breastfeeding. To breastfeed or not was a “no brain er” to me. I had read all of the material and I had made the decision to breastfeed.

I can remember filling up a very large glass of water, picking up my crying daughter, and heading for my “breastfeeding chair.”

Once Jo and I arrived at the chair, I would settle myself in, make sure my glass of water was in reach, and begin to reveal the “bottle”. She knew what I was doing a would “root’ around until I was ready.

Since I lived with my parents, a voice would ask if I was breastfeeding. It was my father sitting in the kitchen waiting for the process to begin. After I responded that I was breastfeeding, Dad gave me time to cover myself, and then head into the living room over to Jo and me.

As soon as he entered the room, he heard wonderful, endearing sounds. They weren’t coming from me...but from Jo. This always made my Dad smile and chuckle softly. He would gently touch her blonde head and say, “Are you enjoying yourself little lady?’

Apparently she was! Oh how she loved a good meal. Her tiny little hand would be placed at the top of my breast, and she would be making these wonderful beautiful sounds. That is what my Dad came to see and hear. In his own way, he was watching over her. Jo unknowingly had given both Dad and I a memory. One we could always share and smile about with each other. I know she and I were bonding but somehow it also created a bond between my Dad and Jo. Little did she know how she impacted his life.

I could always gage where she was at in the feeding process by her sounds. At first, when she was hungry and ready to go, her nursing sound was yummm...yummmm...yummmm. It then would transfer to soft cooing. When she was finished, there would be a sigh and the sound of mmmmmmmmmmmm.

When I removed my breast, she would be sound asleep and happy. I would then take that experience and file it in my mind and heart. I can never express my gratitude to Jo for the memories she was making, nor the memories I now have of my Dad.

Nerveless the story continues. There were a lot of benefits for me, and my decision to breastfeed. Jo was receiving my immune system, so she was NEVER sick. Jo was a happy and alert baby who appreciated a good melody. (Often times I would hum or sing to her while she ate.) Other people could hold and play with her. I never had the feeling of being cheated or jealous, wanting that time for myself.

No, I could let others have their time and enjoy Jo as much as they wanted. I knew she and I would have our time very soon. My attitude was play, hold; enjoy time with her as much as you want. She will let me know when she needs me.

Jo and I had a bond. A bond that connected so tightly, only a mother could have with her child. In those precious quite moments, memories were being made. She and I had a connection. I knew that no one else could have this same unique connection. How could they? Only I could feed her.

At the risk of sounding “mean”, I listened very close for her hunger cry. Others were playing with her, and I looked forward to “our time.” I craved the sounds. The sounds she made etched their way into not only my heart and mind but also those that were around at breastfeeding time.

To this day, my family and I will talk about the sounds Jo made. We laugh and we sometimes cry; now that Dad isn’t here to help share his memories.

How much do I owe to one tiny person? How do I express the emotion when I remember back? How do I say thank you for the memories? Most of all, how do I say thank you for the Joy of feeding you? You, my little one, are a blessing!


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Monday, January 18, 2010


Since having a brand new puppy, (Born October 31, 2009) I’ve thought about and now dreamt about the life of a puppy~dog. Oh how life would be! I know it sounds silly but it really would be a great life.

As a puppy~dog, life would be grand. I would wake up when I wanted to and be taken to “the potty place.” If I should be successful, praise and a treat would be given to me.

Magically, a bowl of food and water would appear. I would eat to my hearts content, while my dear one looked lovingly down at me and protected me.

After filling my belly, it would be off to play. Attacking, pouncing, biting, any of my favorite toys. Play! Play! Play! I would, while my dear one watched. I can hear their laughter and an occasional, “NO!”

I would then focus my attention on them. As I approached my dear one, I would jump, bark, and wag my tail. “Pick me up! Show me some attention. Praise and pet me. Tell me how great I am!”

I would be greeted with a loving, gentle hand and a warm sweet voice. Maybe, if I am lucky, my dear one holding me would lull me to sleep with a song.

After being held and feeling contentment, I would be placed on my own pillow. There, I would be surrounded by the things I loved. Off to sleep I would go, chasing an unseen rabbit. I would bark and run in my dreams, and to the surprise of my dear one, a jolly laugh would come out of them. I would be living my dreams out before them.

After awaking, I would stretch as far as I could, lick my lips, then a fine bark. I want my dear one to know I am here; awake, ready for the routine to begin again.

I would bark for the sheer pleasure of barking. A deep, solid, within bark that shouts, “I may be small but I am here!”

Throughout the day praise, petting and treats would come my way. Most of all, I would feel the love my dear one gives.

I would soak the love up and show my unconditional love by kissing, licking, nuzzling (with my cold icy nose), and wagging my pretty little tail. Sometimes, I would sigh while laying my head down in some soft corner of my dear ones shoulder or arms.

Of course, every now and then a sharp high voice would say, “NO!”

I would understand the word, mostly by the pitch, and know to stop what I was doing. After all, I am a puppy~dog. I would have to learn my boundaries.

My successes would be met with love, praise and treats. A sharp “NO” would state my inappropriate behavior!

I would then try again to please my dear one.

I am a smart puppy~dog. You would be able to tell by my response to one-word commands. Even when I choose to be stubborn, my dear one would love me...unconditionally.

As I see my dear one starts to slow down and head for their slumber, I too slow down. I would look at my safe place. A place no one could fit in but me. Here is where I would go when I feel like being alone.

My safe place would be inviting, warm and soft. I like soft.

But wait! What is this? My dear one is picking me up to slumber in their soft place.

“Yes! Tonight is my night!”

I would crawl under the covers and run my cold nose down my dear ones body, finally deciding on my resting spot. I shall awake in the morning and show my appreciation. I will not awake my dear one with a bark, but with my puppy~dog kisses!

Oh, how it would be to be a puppy~dog. I would be greeted each day with praise, acceptance, petting, soft voice, and gentle hands. To be held simply because I wanted to be. To bring my dear one happiness, and understand what they want by simple words. Know all my failures are forgotten and I am free to try over and over.

Be rewarded for things I do right, and the voice to bark. What wonderful feelings these would be! Most of all, I would have the ability to give and receive unconditional love!

Yes, I have thought it over... I WANT TO BE A PUPPY~DOG!!


How many times have you had or heard this conversation?

“Where do you want to go eat? What do you want to do?”

It is met with, “I don’t know, what do you want...”

The question is repeated again by the first person, followed by a second person expelling their breath and saying, “I don’t decide.”

Sound familiar? I know I have had that exact conversation numerous times. Sometimes liking what the other person chooses; sometimes hating their decision. I never tell them about my feelings. (That would be considered rude.)

Well, I think I have a solution. (Get ready for this one!) There should be a place called, “U~Decide”.

It could be a restaurant, nightclub, and a family oriented playground. It would have something for everyone. It could be all ground level or many stories. A place you and your loved ones could go and pick a floor.

Hungry? Choose a floor. Movie, press a button. Nightclubs...section it off and offer something for all taste. Better yet, have a floor for each kind of entertainment someone is looking at doing. Dancing, Singing, there is a floor for it. Do you want something the whole family can do? You guessed it...pick a floor!

Think about it for a moment, it would be perfect. Everything you could want under one roof but better than a mall. With a name like “U~Decide” it will always be on the tip of your tongue. You wouldn’t have to rack your brain going, “What is the name of that place? You know the one on the corner of...”

The time you would save in figuring out where/what, you want to do. Then when one party decides, you don’t have to say to yourself, “I really don’t want to go there...but I did tell them to choose.”

The back and forth conversation, the choosing, the hope that the other person likes your choice is over. When that conversation starts...and you hear the words, “You decide.”

All you have to do is say “O.K.” and head for “U~Decide.”

I think it would save a lot of time, and defiantly make the other person think twice before going, “Oh, I don’t decide.”

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm Still A Lady

When exactly did it become O.K. for us women to not be treated like a LADY? When did we let that part of us go?

I know in my lifetime that there was a push for equal rights. I do believe that if you do the same exact job, you should be paid the same exact wage. But did we carry it a little too far?

All of a sudden, my friends started opening their own doors, pulling out their own chairs, and even started paying for “a date.” When I asked them about all these new behaviors, they would flippantly reply, “I don’t need a man to do anything for me. I can do it for myself.”

I found myself falling into the trap that other women had set for me. I wasn’t raised that way, but here I was doing the same things they were. When I went out, I paid for my “own”. Dutch was the new and improved trend.

I found myself opening doors with my hands full. Clenching the mail in my teeth, while caring in groceries and trying to unlock my door. Yhep, I was WOMAN! Hear me roar!

When I started dating my Ex-husband this all somehow would start to change. I remember the first time we stopped somewhere and I went to open my door. My Ex smiled, and said in a gentle voice, “You know that door will open by itself if you give me a minute.”

WOW! It was the first time I had ever been told that. I noticed he was different. He did everything that I had been raised that a gentleman would do. I just didn’t know they were still out there.

When I asked him about “this behavior”, he shook his head, eyes sparkling and stated, “When I was growing up, my Mom told me that I didn’t have a lot of money, I wasn’t good looking, so I had better learn to charm the ladies.”

To my surprise, it was working. Of course his comment brought a heartfelt laugh, and I found myself replying, “To me you are Prince Charming.”

There it where I left it. Didn’t think anymore about it, that was just the way it was.

As our children grew older, we both instructed them how they should treat others. It was also important to us to teach them how they should expect to be treated.

We had 4 Kings and 1 Queen and instructed them in the art of the “old ways.” I never thought about why we were teaching these values. It simply was.

(Apparently since he is an EX, he wasn't my Prince Charming.)

Now that I am once again single, with three children out of the home, I started noticing the influence we had made. I really noticed it when my son was 15 and started dating his girlfriend.

I sat back and watched in amazement at how he treated her. When we would go to pick her up, he would always walk to the door, knock and wait for her. (Even though she lived 5 blocks away and a phone call was made to say, “We’re on our way!”)

If she was carrying anything he would smile, gently take the items and carry them for her. He would then open the car door, help her get in the car, then close the door behind her.

When we arrived at our home (quick as a wink) he would jump out of the car, move around to her side, open the door, extend his hand, and helped her out. He then moved to my door and would do the same for me.

If she was bringing an item to our home, he would then retrieve it and make his way to our house door. There he would open the door and hold it while we both made our way inside. Once inside he would ask his girlfriend where she would like the item and joyfully take the item to the requested spot.

Talk about being a proud parent…I was! But why was I so proud? Was it the fact that he was doing as he had been taught to do? I stopped for a moment and thought about it.

It wasn’t the fact that he was doing as he had been raised; but that he was showing his girlfriend RESPECT.

Yes I said it…respect. He was appreciating her for the young woman she was. Or better yet, the young lady she is.

I started looking at my own life. The guys I dated didn’t have a clue. I knew I was a lady (and we all are) but I wasn’t allowing myself to be treated as one. I wasn’t making any man respect me.

I expected my children to act one way, yet I wasn’t setting that example. It wasn’t about “women’s liberation” it was about allowing other to appreciate me.

When the boys and I would go to the store, I didn’t take the items out to the car. I didn’t place them in the car. The boys did it all. And somehow my door would always be open, ready for me to get inside, then gently shut.

When we arrived home, my door would open and I would be helped out. I would open our house door, and the boys would carry all the items inside. I would await the items and then put them away.

I was allowing my boys to give to me. It made them feel good to “take care of their mother” and I was allowing them to feel good about themselves. I was allowing them to appreciate me, respect me and in a strange way allowing them to demonstrate their love.

Why wasn’t I doing this in my dating life? Didn’t I feel worth it? Did I feel silly expecting a man to do anything for me? Why was I being a yellow belled sap sucker in that area of my life? Was I scared if I demanded that respect that I would never see him after the first date? Didn’t I deserve the best someone had to offer?

I started making changes. I AM A LADY! I want and deserve to be treated as such.

I expect now to be treated as I have raised my children. I want to appreciate what a man has to offer, and receive it as the gift it is.

The man I am currently dating, was a man “who didn’t have a clue” at the beginning of the romance. Once he witnessed how my boys treat me… he started to get the picture.

Thinking back on our first date, he came to the door (I wouldn’t have gone out if he had honked his car horn.) and since it was summer, I grabbed my purse and we headed for the car. He naturally went to his side of the car, but saw me standing outside of mine. He got the picture and swept around the car to open my door. (I admit, I giggled on the inside. I was wondering if he was thinking, “What have I got myself into here?)

The months have passed and we both keep growing. Gone are the days of “Dutch” for me. Gone are the feelings of “having to do it all.” I have come to appreciate a gesture. No matter how small it may be. I have opened myself up to receive and appreciate.

So just in case you’re wondering…how far do I take this? ALL THE WAY!

The Day Before My "Stop Date"

I’m out the door heading to my favorite shopping center to get all the items that I think I will need for my stop date. Thanks to planning ahead I already have most of the items.

Gonna check off my list to make sure I’m ready to go.

Support Group ~ Check
Money to go to Christmas Club ~ Check
Collect all the ashtrays ~ I will do before going to bed.
Collect all the lighters ~ I will do before going to bed.
Candy ~ Check
Ashtray in Truck Cleaned Out and Filled with Candy ~ Have to do.
Post-It-Notes for Encouragement ~ Check
Journal/Log ~ Check
Rewrite My List of Why I Want to Quit in Journal ~ Have to do.
Water ~ Check
Fabreeze to Spray clothes, curtains, furniture, carpet ~ Check
Accountability Person ~ Check
Candy in visible places, cigarette case, and purse ~ Check
Looked into Local Support Classes ~ Check
Rewrite Letter to Myself in Journal ~ Darn it… still have to do.
Praying ~ Big Fat Yes on That One!
Turning it Over to God ~ Working on.

First thing to do in the morning of my “Stop Date.”

Put on Patch (I have cleared this with my doctor.)
Crumble Those Cigarettes!
Fabreeze the closets, drawers, house.
Make a log in my journal.

I think that pretty well covers it. I'm not going to smell that stale smoke or cough during a breath. I'm ready for a new life. I am going to write some Affirmations tonight. Now if my feller gives me a kiss for good luck there isn’t any way I can’t do this!

Ready or not world…here I come!

Do I Need Medication & Where Do I Find Support?

Listed below are some sites and information that I have found while doing my research. I thought I would pass them along to you BEFORE the journey begins. If you have any questions please let me know!


Let me state that I am not in a place to give any medical advice. The choice to take a medication or not, is up to you and your doctor. PLEASE SEE YOUR DOCTOR OR ASK HIM/HER BEFORE YOU BEGIN TAKING ANY MEDICATION. Also, asking your pharmacist about conflicting medication is a great habit before you begin taking anything. That includes over the counter as well as prescribed medication. Their knowledge and the latest computer software is fa nominal in detecting conflicting medications. In rare cases, it can lead to death. I don't take anything without first contacting my pharmacist. That includes herbal, vitamins, over the counter medication, and prescription medication. Better safe than sorry....there is something to that!

Here are a couple of prescription medications. Ask your doctor about if any of these could help you quit. (That is if you decide you want to take a prescription medication.)
Bupropion hydrochloride is a medicine for depression, but it also helps people quit smoking. Brand names include Zyban®, Wellbutrin®, Wellbutrin SR® and Wellbutrin XL® but this medication is also available as a generic.

Varenicline is a relatively new medicine that may help smokers quit. It is currently available under the brand name Chantix®.

Once again, I am not a doctor. But I have tried some of the items listed. I will place my personal outcome with each one I tried. (Yes, like many others I have tried quitting before now.)

Nicotine Gum
Tried store brand name. Found it very hard to chew. RESULTS: Didn't use it.

Nicotine Lozenges
Tried store brand name. I think I would have really liked this option, but the down fall is I couldn't drink anything 15 minutes before using one. Anyone who knows me, knows I can't go 15 minutes without a sip of Dr. Pepper. RESULTS: Didn't Use.

Nicotine Inhaler
I haven't used or even attempted to try this one. Here is the information I found on it. **"The nicotine inhaler, also nicknamed "the puffer" is a thin, plastic cartridge that contains a porous nicotine plug in its base. By puffing on the cartridge, nicotine vapor is extracted and absorbed through the lining of the mouth. Each cartridge delivers up to 400 puffs of nicotine vapor. It takes at least 80 puffs to obtain the equivalent amount of nicotine delivered by one cigarette. The nicotine inhaler was made available by prescription in June 1998."

Nicotine Spray
You'll have to ask your Doctor on this one as well. I don't like putting anything up my I don't feel this is a good match for me. Here is the description:
**"Nicotine nasal spray is aerosolized nicotine contained in a spray pump. The nicotine is delivered to the user by spraying it into the nostrils, and is rapidly absorbed by the nasal membranes inside the nose. The spray device is similar to over-the-counter decongestant sprays. Nicotine nasal spray was approved for use by the FDA in 1996. It is currently available by prescription only."

Nicotine Patch
If I decided to do anything but Cold Turkey, We have a Winner! I tried NicoDerm CQ Smart Control. I started on the high dosage so I had 21mg of nicotine delivered to my blood stream over a 24 hour period.

It was pretty simple to use and understand. I simply applied a patch, at the same time everyday to a different area of my body.

Why did I quit it? To be honest I wanted to light up a cigarette. I wasn't committed to stopping. It did take away the withdrawal, but not the craving for me. I had a "Duh" moment using this product. I smoked a cigarette. (Ummm o.k. maybe more than one.) Nothing happened this time, key words, "This Time."

With all the above products, during my research, each products states "DO NOT SMOKE!" The danger is nicotine overdose.

There are also some herbal medicines that can help you quit. If you are interested in these, I would suggest you Google them.

As with anything dealing with starting something new... CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR!

Now the internet is budding with information. I have given several links, sites, and phone numbers you can contact about support. Some of them have some really neat things and I'll post a little bit about it on the side.
(Did someone say journal?) (No this isn't a site about getting a divorce.) (Has free e-cards, has a $7.00 coupon and sample, enclosed in package is an User Guide & Support phone number. If you choose to go this route, please pay attention to the fact you can pay the same amount for two weeks as you can one when using the patches.) (American Cancer Society)

National Cancer Institute
Toll-free number: 1-800-422-6237 (1-800-4-CANCER)
Web site:
Toll-free tobacco line: 1-877-448-7848
Tobacco quit line: 1-800-784-8669 (1-800-QUITNOW)
Direct tobacco Web site:
Quitting information, cessation guide, and counseling is offered, as well as information on state telephone-based quit programs

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Office on Smoking and Health

Toll-free number: 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO)
Web site:
Free quit support line: 1-800-784-8669 (1-800-QUIT-NOW)
TTY: 1-800-332-8615

If you live near Owensboro, KY you may want to contact the below for a local support group.

The Cooper-Clayton class is free and lasts 13 weeks. Registration takes place four times a year through the Green River Heart Institute (688-0808) and is carried out through a partnership with the Kentucky Cancer Program, the Green River District Health Department, GRHI and OMHS.

The class meets from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at the OMHS HealthPark.

If you don't live near Owensboro but would like to find a class or a group meeting near you, check out and put in your city. If we have it in Owensboro, I know it has to be near your town as well.

When all else fails, and you need to find information...Google it.

And one more neat site I found. I know some of us won't need or want this information but I still think it is "cool".

Free Medication Programs

Once again the decision to stop smoking is yours. Your health is always a consideration when doing anything new. Please take care of you and make sure that if you decided to take any kind of help other than COLD TURKEY... ask your doctor &/or pharmacist.

I hope this post help in some way. As I draw closer to my stop date...I have added a lot of favorite websites and informational tools. Once again, if you are going to try to quit along with me... "I can't wait for our journey to begin!"

**Information with ** was provided by my search on:

Another site with a lot of great information.

Important Items For Any "Wanting To Quit Smoking List"

As you get to know me you will find that I am a big fan of making list. I like the fact that I came up with my own thoughts and feelings. Even more important is that I can always have something to refer back on and add to as time passes.

There are a few items that I briefly wanted to touch on "Wanting to Quit Smoking List." I feel they are very useful tools in our constant struggle to be an EX-Smoker. I hope you will consider adding these items to your own list.

Back Date a Letter to Yourself
Sounds funny doesn't it? The truth of the matter is our brain believes what we tell it to believe. So take out a pen and paper and address it however you would like. (Address it to me if you want.)

Now date the letter a year behind your stop date. For example, my stop date is January 13, 2010. So the date on my own letter will be January 13, 2009.

Be as specific as you can in your letter. State what you feel like your trials will be and how you overcame them. Write to yourself as if your already a Non-Smoker.

Things you might want to consider putting in your letter would be: (First and Foremost) How wonderful it feels to be a Non-Smoker! * When were your trigger times? * What you did instead of smoking during those times. * How did you Rewarded yourself when you accomplished a set time frame without smoking? * How you felt when you slipped and took a puff. * How you felt when you began again. * Who was your support group? * Who was your accountability person/persons? * How did they help you?

You get the picture. Write a success letter to yourself! How wonderful it is to know that your already a Non-Smoker!

Keep A Journal/Log
Keeping a journal or log will help you in many ways. As days pass, it will remind you on how GREAT you are doing! If need be, write it hour by hour and state how you feel. Look back at it, even if it has only been one day and tell yourself, "I am Awesome! Look at me, I can do this!"

Remember a craving will probably only last 2 to 3 minutes. Have your list, journal/log, and support waiting in the wings. Plan ahead and have a few ideals on what your going to do when a "craving" hits.

If you should "stumble" write about it! How did it make you feel? Good at the time, but horrible now? Did it make you feel guilty or question yourself on if you can really do this? Whatever it is journal/log it. But please remember to be kind to yourself. Realize it is in your power at that moment to write about it and then change your actions. Get back up there on that horse and ride again!

At the end of the day, before you go to sleep, end on a positive note. Maybe a quote, an affirmation, a poem, something that makes you feel good.

Have A Support Group Ready
I have listed a full post on nothing but resources for you. Internet sites, phone numbers, and how to find local support groups in your area. There are many more out there, so Google it to find the information you like.

Family, friends, and co-workers will be a great support if you chose to make yourself open to what you are doing. (In fact, one web site has free e-cards you can send and receive to help you in your quest. If I found one, I know there are many more out there for you to find!) I have an "accountability" person in my life ready 24 hours a day. (As I think about it... I have a whole web holding me accountable. lol) You may not have this in your life, and need to have many local support people and sites. Do whatever it takes...but USE THEM!

Turn It Over To God!
I don't have a clue in what or who you believe, a Higher Power or nothing at all. But to me, this is a "MUST HAVE" for my list. I believe in the Power of Prayer and probably will be doing quite a bit of it!

I also believe in God's Promises. Philippians 4:13 King James Version of the Bible states,
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

I plan on praying when I arise in the morning, when a craving hits, and before I go to sleep. My prayer will be that He will see me through this and I will become stronger because of it. If you have never read the poem "Broken Dreams" please do so. How can we expect God to fix anything if we won't lay it down and leave it?

I don't know if this blog may have helped you or not. But it has helped me. I understand why these items are so important to "My List." They may not be important to yours. It's fine if they aren't, just know why "Your List" is important!

Looking forward to the journey ahead with you!

Monday, January 11, 2010

I've Decided To STOP SMOKING Day Two

O.K. I've decided to stop what? Once again I pull out pen and paper and begin to make a list of what I think I need to do to stop smoking.

The very first thing on my list was to pick a stop date. Did I just write that? Am I truly going to commit to this? After pondering a moment, I felt a resounding "YES!" come from deep within me.

Look at your list! You know why you want to do this... now commit and do it!

I really want to stop smoking this time. I stopped what I was doing, looked at a calendar and talked to myself.

For me I like the number 13. I thought about my cigarette reserve and knew I could have them totally out of the house by the 13th of January.

What I didn't smoke between now and then, I could give to someone. Since a cigarette isn't anybody's friend, I thought of a better ideal. I would crumble each left over cigarette into a jar. As I crumble these false friends, I would say, "Your one less chemical in my body that I just don't need! I'm NOT going to let you Kill me!"

(I plan on keeping this jar in eyes view. It will serve me as a reminder to why and what I am doing. I will use it as a tool to help me obtain my goal. I am telling myself right now how much I am going to enjoy crumbling each and every one of them. Instead of looking at it like a waste of money...they were a waste of life!)

Shew! A lot of emotional things had just happened. In a course of minutes I had: Decided to stop smoking * Picked a start date * Committed myself to make a change * and had my "accountability person" there for me.

Now on to the "List of Things To Do!" Here are some of the things I placed on my list: Throw away ashtrays * Throw away lighters * Get Candy* Buy Water * Buy Fabreeze * Buy a Journal/Log * Post-It-Notes * Wash out truck ashtray and place candy in it * Put candy/gum in my purse and cigarette case * Go to bank and place cigarette money into Christmas Club (so I can't touch it) *Check into Support (internet, phone and local classes) * Do I need medication?

From that list I went straight into my second list of the day. "What are some of the things I can do instead of smoke?"

For each person this will be different. Some basic ideas I placed on my list were: Play/Pet Annabell * Take A Walk * PRAY * Read * Go somewhere that didn't allow smoking * call a friend * Drink Water then a Great Dr. Pepper * Spend more time with boys, family, and of course Jon. * Get ready to turn this over to God * Write!

I am going to make another post on some more ideals of the "Most Important Things I Can Do To Stop Smoking."

But for day two, if your going to follow along with me, here is what I suggest you do. 1) Pick A Start Date. 2) Make A List of What You Need To Do. 3) Make a List of What You Can Do Instead of Smoking.

That's it! Make your list and get ready. I feel this is going to be one heck of a ride!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I've Decided To STOP SMOKING Day One

Wow! What a decision this is for me. I have been smoking for years and really enjoy it. I have even tried to stop once or twice with friends and family "quilting" me into it. It didn't work for me. Oh, it did for awhile, but in the long run I was sneaking a smoke, then smoking in certain places, back to full force smoking.

What do I think will be different this time? I want to quit! (I know! duh!) I don't want to quit because my kids are looking at me with hurtful eyes when I fail and smoke. I don't want to quit because my boyfriend told me, "I want to live a long and healthy life with you.

I don't even want to quit because my mother has offered me cash if I would stop. This time I am going to do it for me. Even though I enjoy a good cigarette, I began to think and feel - not how my smoking was affecting others but how it was affecting me. How was it affecting my life? Me...Personally.

I decided I would create a list on why I wanted to stop. It was incredible! Once I started, I filled up two pages and could have kept on going. Then I stopped and wondered to myself, "What in the world are you doing? You know you need to do this, but it is going to be hard."

So I decided the "LIST" would be my inspiration, my drive and my hope. I know I can do this, but I had to do it for me.

What kind of things did I place on my list? Of course there was the usual, how much money I would save, how I didn't like the cough that came when I smoked, (my health) how I missed the taste of good food and a great Dr. Pepper. I thought about how I wasn't being a good example. And since I am a Christian, this isn't something that Jesus would do. I really can't see Jesus standing anywhere and pulling out a cig and lighting it up. When I see that picture in my mind, I can't help but laugh.

Wanting to really stop this time, I figured that I would hold myself accountable to one person. That one person would not judge me, but encourage me. I wouldn't have to see the disappointment in my children’s, mother's, or even boyfriend's eyes should I break down and smoke a cigarette.

So on this first day, I decided to do two things; create a list and understand why I wanted to quit and second, make myself accountable to one person.

When I called my accountability person (someone who had just quit themselves) they gave me the best reason that I would have never thought about placing on my list. Simply put, a cigarette is NOT MY FRIEND! A friend would not try to kill you!

Well my journey has just begun. I hope you will join me in my trip and if you also want to stop smoking... make that list and hold yourself accountable to one person. That's all I want us to do on this first day of our journey.

I look forward to sharing with you my trials and triumphs! But most of all I look forward to improving me!