Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Water and Giggles

I love the sound of laughter. It is a sound that I have always appreciated. I love to laugh with my family and friends, I love Greg's subtle comments that always make me giggle, I love to listen to kids in my class chuckle with one another, I remember the way I would light up to hear Ivy's first signs of laughter as a baby, and now today (especially after a day like yesterday) love thinking of the giggles that rang in my backyard on Sunday evening.

Ivy was in a silly mood. She wore her new bathing suit around, not really interested in swimming or getting wet, just wanting to model her new suit. I was trying to take a picture of her on the swing and she persisted to make funny faces- not in any mood to be serious. It was one of those days that God gifted me with as armor to survive the ugly days... you know what I am talking about. By the end of the evening, she became quite the instigator in a water fight with daddy!

Here is where it began.... Ivy with all the advantage and Daddy unarmed with any fair materials or the proper clothes.

Daddy realized she was serious and started to get her good.... we thought her laughter would quickly turn into a melt down with "hurt feelings" about getting splashed... but thankfully the fun continued!

Splashing, laughing, pouring, and giggling went on all evening! It was so fun to watch the two loves of my life enjoying each other so much. For the rest of the night I sat on the porch, rocking, and listening to one of my favorite sounds.... laughter!

Monday, June 28, 2010


Today has been one of those days.... and it is only 2:30. I am exhausted and drained from motherhood. Ivy's year of being two is near over and these are some things that I have learned.
1. The terrible two's go in spurts and they are either really terrific and so much fun to be around or (like today) they can pretty terrible.

2. You spend so much time being consistent and it does pay off.

3. Choose a form a discipline a stick to it. Time out and isolation works for Ivy- in rare cases she gets a swat on the bottom- when she is doing something completely intolerable after several rounds of time out.

4. Enjoy all that they are learning and soaking up, but realize they are getting to where they can manipulate others.

5. It's okay to put yourself in time out when you need a break. I often go in my room and shut the door when I feel like I am going to loose my cool with my two year old. It takes a couple of minutes for me to pray, gain my sanity, and go back to parenting with a better outlook.

6. Try to create situations where your child WILL have success. Don't run errands at nap time, don't out stay your welcome, and don't put them in situations that tempt them to act out.

7. Vent to someone.... or you might explode. I can vent to Greg, my mom, and my friends- all who can console me when Ivy is about to drive me bonkers- and sometimes I just need to blog about it.

8. Forgive yourself when you make parenting mistakes-- it's going to happen, forgive yourself, and move on.

9. I will never again look at an UNRULY child in public and think "the parents need to get in control"..... I have been that parent and know that sometimes you are doing all you can to survive.

10. Celebrate the little accomplishments in a BIG way to make them see new independence as a good thing.

Today has been hard. I can't say it has been the hardest day of parenting ever... but it has been ugly. Ivy hasn't pooped in 5 days and it has her quite grumpy! Not to make excuses, but I don't think that is helping the situation. She is screaming, hitting, and acting foolish. We went to a friend's house and I was mortified by the way she spoke to me and her lack of manners. I ended up putting her down for a nap in the midst of her screaming like the devil, which is not are usual routine!! I miss rocking, reading stories, and making her "snug as a bug in a rug" (yes, Ivy would still be swaddled if they made big enough blankets). I feel sad and guilty about the way she acted. I am embarrassed that my friend didn't get to see the usual bubbly personality of Ivy. It scares me for days like this to come, when I have two children. My feelings are hurt and I hope that she wakes up happy and preferably, ready to poop! Cheers to the rest of the day.

PS- I planned to blog about the giggles that rang in my backyard last night when Greg and Ivy had a water fight, but my mind wasn't there. Those will come later. Maybe tomorrow!

Update: Yesterday continued to be TERRIBLE but this morning was different. Who knew I could be so happy about a 2 year old pooping??!! Not pooping alters her personality completely... and it is not fun!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Camels and Elephants and Clowns.... OH MY

Today we had a family first.... we went to the circus! I went to the circus as a child but I don't remember much about it, so it was very new, fun, and entertaining for our whole family :) When the Amburgey's invited us to the circus we were excited! It was doubly exciting to know it was coming right here to Nicholasville since Ivy is NOT much of the car rider (yes, please join me NOW in praying about our trip to the beach)! Now onto the circus... when we pulled up to the park and saw the Big Top we knew it was going to be a great (AND VERY HOT) day!

Ivy so excited to get started with the day :)

Riding the train... Ivy didn't want to ride until Rhett was pulling away without her! Thank goodness for the sweet conductor that stopped to let Ivy join in on the fun.

Yes, that is who you think it is!!! Ivy rode a camel. Seriously, there are a lot of "brave" things that Rhett does and Ivy cheers him on- but today she wanted to partake in the action. She actually rode the camel. She shocked herself just as much as she shocked all of us with this little adventure! Tonight she said she wants to go back to the circus, but she doesn't want to ride the camel anymore. I guess the bravery only lasted a day!!

Our own group of circus clowns!

Cicely and Sidney Shea so pretty in green!!

The elephant parade.... the elephants were my favorite part!

All of the circus stars leaving at the end!

Smorstad Family (plus Alex the Clown)
Circus 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Smores at the Smorstad's

The Smorstad's LOVE chocolate.... and what chocolate lover doesn't love a delicious ooey-gooey smores!! We certainly love them and some people even say our last name can't be said without craving one of these yummy treats. :) So you must be wondering, where am I going with this.....? For Father's Day we bought Greg a little fire-pit for the back yard and we have already gotten great use out of it. Greg would say the fire-pit is for much more than smores- he is ready to camp in the back yard with Ivy!!! Here are some pictures capturing the first making of smores at the Smorstad's!

Getting the fire started...

Roasting the marshmallow... Ivy's favorite part!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

To Our Daddy

This is the sight I came home to after grad school one night.... how sweet!

Some men are called to be police men, fire fighters, or soldiers. Some men are called to be race car drivers, star athletes, or rock stars. Callings are based on the gifts that God has blessed us with. My husband is called to be a daddy of girls. He isn't just a man that comes home from work, greets his wife and daughter, and then goes off to do his own thing... he is hands on. It makes me so proud to see Greg with Ivy. He truly treats her like a princess- which explains why Ivy wants to marry him when she is "growed up." He plays her games.... swaddling baby dolls, eating pretend cake, and even painting her nails. Not only does he play Ivy's way, but he also includes her in all that he does.... mowing the grass, washing the car, and even taking out the trash. Ivy knows without a doubt that her Daddy loves her. When we found out we were having another little girl I thought Greg might be disappointed.... but he looked at me with all honesty (I don't believe he knows how to lie).... and said, "Disappointed... why would I be? I can raise girls and be so excited for them to find cool husbands to hang out with some day!" However, he did make it a point to start exposing Ivy to some of his loves- soccer and fishing. I feel blessed beyond belief to have married a man that is my best friend and just so happens to be called to be a father to a parade of princesses. He is definitely outnumbered but he is doing well with this challenge!!

To the Daddy of the Princesses....

Happy Father's Day!

*We do not plan to stop having babies after number 2, but Greg believes that no matter how many babes we have... that he will be the only man standing! We will have to see....*

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Happy Birthday to Rhett

This week our buddy, Rhett, celebrated his 3rd birthday! Ivy was so excited to go to his "creek" party on Sunday that she wouldn't even take a nap. She laid in her bed singing Happy Birthday to Rhett over and over and then she finally came out and said she was ready to go!

Yes, I did say Rhett had a creek party and it could not have been more perfect! The kids played in the creek, caught minnows, crawdads, and other yucky creek type things. They had a blast! Rhett was so proud to show Ivy the creek and was ready for her to get in right away. Ivy was excited as long as Daddy was right by her side. Thank goodness Daddy was there because Mommy does not do creeks! :)

I am so glad the kiddos had so much fun!
Happy 3rd Birthday, Rhett!

Exploring with Daddy

Showing Mommy how old Rhett is :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wedding Weekend

This weekend I was honored to be in the wedding of an "old" friend..... when I say old I don't mean she's old I mean we have been friends for more than half of our life and that seems like eternity! We met when we were 12 and have been planning our weddings together ever since and she was beautiful. :) I hope it was the princess extravaganza that she always imagined.... I thought it was absolutely perfect. This weekend was busy busy getting ready for the main event and last night I was exhausted. I hope that the bride and groom get plenty of rest and relaxation on their honeymoon... and I hope I get plenty of rest and relaxation because it is SUMMERTIME!!!!

Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Jenkins!! WOO-HOO

Ivy and Mommy feeling rather HOT and STICKY at the reception! Ivy loved all the pretty dresses and she especially was drawn to my fake lashes. She is girly and loves all things girl!

This morning I realized how much I missed her over the past few days (I had PD on Thurs and Fri and then the rehearsal dinner on Fri and wedding things ALL day Sat). I was excited to just hang out with the family today. When I woke up Ivy and I had this sweet conversation....

Ivy: "Good morning, mommy! I like your pretty eye lashes, where are they?"

Mommy: "I took them off before bed, they were just for the wedding."

Ivy: "They are pretty, mommy."

Mommy: "Thank you."

Ivy: "But I am glad you are staying home with me today.... are you going to wear your eye lashes?"

Obsessed with the lashes.... MOST DEFINITELY..... Loves her mommy.... YES YES!! Ivy hardly ever tells me she misses me without me telling her first but this morning I could tell she was really glad I was going to be home today and that just melted my heart!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cheers to the Year!

I am sure you are confused by the title.... but I am talking about my school year and it is now over! Today I closed up shop in my classroom and started getting things ready for the second graders that I will be having in the fall. This year has been so rewarding. I have grown closer to God in the day to day struggles, worries, and nerves that I laid at his feet and He has been good! Maybe you remember MY plans for the 2009-2010 school year.... they did not involve working. I was ready to stay at home, have another baby, and care for my family full time. But my God, He had other plans for me. Maybe you remember my post on understanding Job 42:2 and on this day I learned to trust His plans and stop making plans of my own.
Yes, His plans were hard to accept but every single day I woke up and asked him to give me joy before my feet hit the floor... and from that moment on I continued to talk to my God all day long. I prayed for my students as if they were my own children, I prayed for Ivy as she was at the sitters, I prayed for my marriage that we could make time for one another each evening, and I prayed that I could be all the things I am called to be without feeling overwhelmed. God gave me peace day after day. I found security in Him and I saw His blessings day in and day out as I did more than I thought I was capable of when He revealed His plans for my life.
I was blessed with the best class that I have ever had! Seriously, I don't think there will ever be a class like them again... which is why I was so willing to move to second grade with them and keep them another year. They were sweet and maybe it's because I prayed over their little lives each day. I prayed that I would have patience with them and that they would be open to learn what I was teaching. I prayed that their families would support me in my decisions... and they are the greatest group of parents ever! I love those kids and their families and this time next year I will be posting the saddest goodbye ever :) But I hope to be prayerful of my students each year and know that God places them each in my care for a reason.
I was blessed with being able to leave work and come home to my family without stress... on most days! I have to admit that there were times when report cards, conferences, and grad school assignments all came at once and I felt like I might bubble over. But I asked for help from my husband and I actively chose to use my time wisely.... and I did it all- without therapy!! :) Ivy would often ask about the kids at my school and I really believe that she sees the importance of what I do when I leave her each day. She is excited about the day when she gets to come to Mommy's school and I can't wait until she is there!
I was blessed with getting pregnant... again.... and knowing that I am having a little princess... again! It was fun to share this news with my students and let them get excited each day that my belly grew :) I was once told that my belly grew from lunch to specials!! Hahaha it might have! I didn't have the perfect pregnancy at the beginning but through prayer I was able to survive- and only puke between the hours of 6:30-7:30 am and 5:00-9:00 pm! Too much information... I know but really do you see God working in that?
Do you see how good God has been to me this year? I have accomplished so much more than I ever thought was possible because I trusted His plans for my life and I stopped trying to make my own plans. I am thankful for all that I learned about myself through accepting God's will for my life. I understand that it His plans for me to teach, so I don't feel like I am just going to do my job each day but it is His job! I loved going to work and felt what I was doing there was important. I loved coming home each day and felt what I did each evening was MORE important. I can do all the jobs Christ calls me to with His strength!
Now summer is officially here and I get to relax and spend time with family and friends. But each day I am going to make it a point to start allowing God to shape my heart for next year. I know that I can't do anything without Him.