Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fickled Days

One of the most prevalent personality traits of a toddler is fickleness. She wants a pop tart, no a bagel- 2 ponies, no a hair bow- to go outside, no to play inside- to wear pink panties, no yellow ones- you get the point! She changes her mind all the time, and bath time is no different. Ivy once loved the bath but starting this summer she began despising that part of her day. Greg even had to lure her to the bath each evening with a little animal to play in the tub... we never said we were above bribery! Well, suddenly, out of now where Ivy is a bath loving girl! So much so that she refuses to get out of the tub. The water is out, she is dried off, and boom- turn your back, and she is back in the tub. She has insisted every day this week that she wants to sleep in the tub! CRAZY girl!

Not wanting to get out!

Showing us, how it would really work to "sleep" in the tub!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Canoe Fun

Once upon a time, on the coldest August day a husband and wife had a canoe trip planned. This was an adventure planned to honor what an incredible father that husband was. A day on the Elkhorn is the best possible day for that husband so his non-adventuresome wife decided to play along. But she was a little worried.... on this 68 degree morning she didn't want even a toe to touch the water. And then she saw old faithful-

This was our mode of transportation!!! AHHHH....

But LOVE conquers all... and with husband near by it would be okay!

Here is the handsome man in charge of steering.....

And here's the wife in charge of trip planning, snack packing, and watching for rocks....

And in the end we survived and had a blast together. I could only do adventures such as camping and canoeing with my calm and collected, laid back, counter part. Not another soul in the world could make me feel safe in a little red boat!

Happy Father's Day to an amazing Husband!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Kitties say "Hissssss"

Ivy loves cats.... seriously her first word was meow. She was amazed with our cat, Kaya. That was before Ivy started to move... at that point something changed... Ivy no longer hears Kaya meow she simply hisses every time that Ivy comes near. It is really sad. Ivy snaps and calls her and just wants to cuddle, but Kaya is a cat that prefers her space and she would rather lounge alone than play with a two year old.
For Ivy's birthday she got a wooden cat on wheels from my Aunt and Uncle. Ivy thinks it is her new kitty, whom she has also named Kaya. She puts it in her bed at night and wants to take her on walks daily. From the looks of this picture I think we need a new friend.... for Ivy! So a new friend we plan to get :) Can't wait to see Ivy love a new kitty and I can only imagine how Kaya will feel about the feline addition to the Smorstad household!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A New School Year

Many of you have traveled through this past year's journey with me; a journey with mommy-ing, wife-ing, and teaching- a journey with plans that fell through- a journey with disappointing news and times for rejoicing.... a journey that in the end leaves me going back to work full time and guess what? I am really really excited!

I am anxious to meet the 21 students that I will be nurturing and teaching for the next 177 school days. I am so excited to dive in to being the only teacher in my classroom. I am ready to try a new reading program and see my 6 year olds fall in love with books. I believe this positive attitude is one that God so graciously put in my heart after He pointed me in a different direction than I had planned. Imagine that... God ultimately is in charge of the plans for my life! This summer I have spent many moments in prayer and in God's word and have peace without understanding. I know that this year will be busy but I know that through His strength I can do it. This verse has been my encouragement over the past few months:

" If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen"

1 Peter 4:11

Before I became I mother, I knew that God had designed me to be a teacher. My first year teaching was absolutely amazing.... a honeymoon period if you will, the next year I had too many hormones coming and going to know what I thought, and last year with the job-share I questioned if teaching was really my calling. In the end, it is so clear that I am still meant to teach (sharing is not so much part of my calling- haha). I have a passion for opening a door for these children, a door that is opened through education and positive relationships. I am teaching for an audience of one... I am teaching because that is so clearly the will that God has for my life. This year, through all the obstacles, I hope to show my students, their families, and my co-workers the love of Jesus. I have already started praying for this school year and my students by name. I want to intercede on their behalf if they don't know Him. Clearly, I don't teach at a private school where I can teach about my faith specifically but being in a community like Wilmore those conversations are often started by my students and I willingly participate. I want to serve them and their families because that is what IT is all about, loving people unconditionally, and my job is more than the perfect venue for this. I am excited to teach, I am excited to nurture, and I am excited to do it all while bringing glory to Him!

Cheers to a fabulous school year for all!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ivy's 2nd Birthday!!!

Ivy had a great time celebrating her big second birthday! It is hard to believe that she is already officially a toddler. She enjoyed playing games and dancing at Chuckee Cheese, eating delicious dinner and cupcakes with family, and swinging and sliding on her new swingset! Ivy has been such a blessing to us and we are thankful to have such a fun and sweet (most of the time) daughter. Happy Birthday, Miss Ivy!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Birthday Interruption- It's Potty Time!

Last year about this time we had a birthday interruption for walking, and this year our girl has decided it is time to use the potty! So here's our story:

January-March: Ivy pooped on the potty..... almost every time. I don't think she knew to make that choice she just didn't like a yucky diaper. Then suddenly, she was okay with having a poopy bum and reverted back! I wasn't going to push the issue at all.

May: We had our first attempt at truly potty training. We got panties, set a timer, did rewards. Ivy wasn't quite ready. She understood that we wanted her to pee-pee but didn't quite understand where to go. Each time she wet her panties she clapped and said "YAY, Ivy!" At this point, we knew Ivy was not ready for the potty but we introduced the idea that when she was two she would use the potty.

June-July: On many attempts we would try having a naked bum or wearing panties. In all of our attempts we only had one accident. Ivy actually had the opposite issue. She was afraid to use the potty and she had crazy bladder control and would hold it all morning until naptime when she got a diaper. At times she would cry that her belly was hurting and she needed a diaper. We stopped pushing the issue because the last thing I wanted was a bladder infection to develop. Each time she would not want to pee pee on the potty she would say, "When I be 2!"

July 31st: Ivy is 2!!! I had decided not to bring up the potty because I didn't want to make her birthday stressful in the least. However, Ivy had other plans! She woke up from nap around 3:15 and proclaimed, "Ivy's 2, I use the potty!" and low and behold that is exactly what she did.
She had 5 potty successes and no accidents. We wore panties to eat dinner and to the park! I thought it may have been a fluke.

August 1st: Ivy woke up, picked out her panties, and it's been in the potty all day long! We even went potty at Wal-mart!

I am so proud of her success and now I don't think there is any going back! I am a firm believer that they will use the potty willingly when they are ready. This is different for every child! She will wear diapers at nap and bedtime until she starts waking up dry. We are no where near this point. She is excited and has chosen a reward of new big girl earrings :) Go, Ivy!