Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dear Ivy

Daddy and Ivy.... July 31, 2007
Dear Ivy,
It was exactly 3 years, 1 month, and 1 day ago that you entered our world and changed everything. The moment I met you my heart filled with more love than I could have ever expected. Becoming a mommy was the most overwhelming joy I had ever felt. I remember going over every little part of you that night with your Daddy. We were enamoured by your folded ear (which soon was straight), your long skinny toes, eyes and facial expressions that mirrored Daddy's to a tea, and your beautiful lips. God's creation was amazing. You were the best gift we could ever ask for and we could never thank Him enough.

You taught me all I know about how to be a mommy. I let go. I knew I could not be in control and I would ultimately ALWAYS do what was best for you. I prayed each morning and every night that I made good decisions on your behalf. I have begged God for patience when things are tough. I have thanked God for unexpected energy after sleepless nights. I was gifted with motherhood flexibility..... I say motherhood because that is where my flexibility ends! :) I am thankful for all you have let me learn on this mommy journey.

Today I pray for you, my sweet girl. I am so excited for you to meet your baby sister. You have asked about her arrival and well being for months. Over the last few days we have talked so much about becoming a big sister and you are ready to take on the job. I know you will show Tula the ropes of baby dolls, princesses, nail polish, and more. I know you will want to rock her and make sure she has a dry diaper at all times. I know that you will be her protector when Mommy goes back to work and Tula spends the days at Kristy's with you. Tula is so blessed to have a big sister like you. But Ivy know this, Mommy and Daddy love you more today than yesterday because you are that much more special to us. I am praying that you feel our love around you and that you still feel confident that you are still our sweet girl. I want you to know that even when we are sleepy and busy, you are still our IvyGirl. We love you more than any words can explain. Because of you, we have this parenting thing down! Thank you for teaching us all you have in your 3 years, 1 month, and 1 day to better prepare us for Baby Tula's arrival.
You are our sunshine!

I love you,

Sunday, August 29, 2010

NEW DATE: 3 more days!!!

38 weeks and 4 days.... 3 more days!!
I really love a plan.... that is no surprise to most of you! But babies have a mind of their own and come when they are ready. Dr. Cunningham tried to tell me this around 20 weeks when I begged to schedule my c-section no sooner than my due date. She talked about the possibility of going into labor sooner and I thought based on past experience nothing short of a miracle would make this happen. Well, I was a little bit wrong!
On Tuesday afternoon I started experiencing some discomfort. I wasn't sure what it was... my guess was more stretching or that she was maybe dropping a little bit. I blamed most of it on sitting in an uncomfortable chair during my planning for a meeting and then again after school. It felt like cramps and some pressure but I dismissed it as nothing major.
On Wednesday I could barely drive home from Ivy's babysitter's house. I was so uncomfortable. I laid down drank water and begged Ivy to cuddle with me or at least let me lay. I again felt really crampy but it also felt like my back was broken. I tried laying, walking around, sitting, stretching, and I started to feel pretty confident that this wasn't just pregnancy. I decided to take a walk because I know if you are in labor it can make things happen or it may stop it if it isn't the real thing. By about 7:45 the constant pain died out and I was thankful for a doctor's appt the next day.
When I got to the doctor's office on Thursday I told her what was going on and she thought that definitely sounded like contractions (I never really felt these last time so I wasn't sure).... she hooked me up to the monitor and in 12 minutes I had 4 contractions.... seeing it and feeling it I then knew that is what I had experienced for a prolonged time the two days before. Dr. Cunningham wanted me to go home, see how the night went, and then call her the next day. Thursday evening was pretty uneventful so I thought nothing would change as far as the c-section date, but I was feeling a little anxious. Then I went to bed.....
I woke up at 11 (my first potty break) and I was awake from 11 to 4 in a lot of discomfort. After seeing the contractions at the office I knew that is what I was experiencing but I still couldn't feel "stop and start" time because more pain was in my back than anywhere else. I knew that I needed to call in the morning.
So by 10:00 Dr. Cunningham had moved my c-section up 1 week.... to September 1st. This was her first scheduled opening and she assured me that if anything happened before (since it very well could) I was to report directly to labor and delivery. Friday night I experienced my normal 3 hour stretch of discomfort and yesterday was less consistent.... probably because I wasn't teaching all day!
I have been busy nesting and getting ready for the big day and we can't wait!! Ivy is so excited to meet her baby sister and Greg and I are ready for all the love, excitement, and sleepiness that a newborn brings into a household.
Dear Tula,
I can't wait to meet you!! You know it will please your mommy to pieces and stick to the NEW plan of coming September 1st. Anything other than a plan scares me to death! But I know I am not in charge and God will deliver you to our arms in His perfect timing. I am ready for you, little princess!! I love you.
Love, Mommy

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

All She Hoped For....

Dance class was all Ivy dreamed it would be! She and 8 other little beauties proudly walked into the studio lined with mirrors..... and allowed the door to be closed behind them. Many mommies (and 1 very excited Nana) peaked through the cracks of the door for the 45 minute class only hoping to get a glimpse of our little ballerina. I got one picture while they were doing introductions... sadly... but it was all made okay when Ivy reenacted every bit of the class when her Daddy came home.
Ivy was most thrilled about the pleat (plee-ay.... I don't know how to spell it) that she learned. It was rather awkward but boy, was she proud. They also learned about pointing and flexing their little toddler toesies. Everyone took turns skipping, sashaying, and using streamers as elephant noses as they danced to the music. Ivy says they played with a big balloon with handles at the end of the class. (I know you all remember playing with a parachute in gym class when you were little- they still use those things today!) She loved every minute of the class and has asked twice a day since when her dance class will take place again!

Cheers to Monday evenings and our little ballerina :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010


This week Ivy was so excited to receive one more birthday present in the mail. What was inside the card was a mystery to Ivy? A Build-A-Bear gift card meant nothing to her.... until she got a glimpse of it online and then with a little mommy and daddy coaxing we went that evening to experience Build-A-Bear for the first time!

Ivy loved every part of it! At this point we were getting her kitty dressed in the "dressing room" where Ivy even found the perfect pair of matching panties to go with the outfit she had picked. My favorite mommy part was seeing her pick out a heart and "give it a heart beat"--- she was in awe with the magic of it all!

Here she is so proud of her newly created friend.... but we didn't get to escape the store without fully accessorizing the kitty with shoes and bows!

Ivy can't wait to go back.... Mommy and Daddy hope it is with another gift card or a grandparent in tow!! :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The countdown....

Not a countdown for baby Tula.... but something coming even sooner!!!
Here's a hint:

Ivy will start dance lessons!!!
Her big day is next Monday and she couldn't be more excited. The class starts with ballet and then they introduce tap. I hope that she finds something that she loves to do :) Right now, we have a little countdown until her classes start!!!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cloth Diapers.... A Smorstad Adventure

Cloth Diapers.... the discussion about cloth came up in our household when Ivy was a little over a year old. Greg had read something about the amount of time a diaper takes to dispose of in a landfill and then it made him feel sick when he thought about the number of sausage like tubes filled with diapers (you know what I am talking about if you have genie) that he had thrown directly in the trash. Listening to him, I heard him out, we did some reading and found that this was a HUGE expense this far down Ivy's diapering journey with both parents working part time while Greg was in school.

So the cloth diaper door was shut! And we vowed we would do cloth the next time around.

Look how cute they all are!!!

Then my friend, Cameron, discovered she was pregnant and started a mommy blog. I loved reading her blog as she had some similar parenting ideas to mine and some totally different- like natural birth!!! I am still blown away by Isis' birth story. :) But I remember when Cameron posted this and I was so excited for her but felt like the chance to do cloth myself was gone since I started working full time and just feeling too busy to add one more thing to my plate (like the "hassle of cloth"). I continued to drool over all the precious pics of her little girl in the cloth dipes but knew it wasn't going to work for me.

I knew it would be too much.
Too much cleaning.
Too much washing.
Too much for our sitter.
Too much.
Too much.
Too much.

Until Cameron posted this and we followed up with a million emails. I was changing my mind and the research began. Greg was pumped since about 3 months ago, he asked about cloth and I quickly reminded him that I work, do grad school, and have Ivy to take care of. So the research continued and let me just say, Cameron obviously did hers because I could find nothing that I felt more sure of than the products that she had already recommended and I really thought doing cloth like this would work for us!

I found the Cloth Diaper Whisperer and this video about Gro-via to be super helpful in encouraging me that we could take on this adventure!

This shows the shell and the snap in insert.

So here is what I know about our up coming adventure....
The negative first:
1. There are many skeptics, but that is okay. This is our decision and we have to live with it.

2. Poop is still poop- no matter how cute, soft, and cuddly the shell holding it is!

3. We will probably have some instances where disposables are necessary and we will not feel bad about that. (I know the church nursery doesn't do cloth and I am still not sure how I feel about being out running errands and having a dirty diaper in my bag.... we will see!)

4. I will have 2 extra loads of laundry a week.

5. There will be times diapering questions will come up and will require some research on my part.... but I know first I will just email Cameron!! haha - hope you are ready!!!

Now onto the happy notes:
6. Tula will have a big ol diaper booty- that is oh so cute!

7. Cloth diapers so stinking cute :) Colors, patterns, etc!

8. We will save quite a few dollars in this process.... just think about the cost of diapers and diaper genie refills over a 2 year period!

Here are the three sizes (just by adjusting a button)... in bright purple!

9. As Greg says- we will lessen our footprint on our planet!

10. You will enjoy lots of pics of Tula sporting her bright colored dipes!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

We spent our summer....

The summer is officially over! Tomorrow school starts and we will get back into the swing of things (just in time for a major arrival on September 8th). I am excited for what the new school year holds, with a class of excellent 2nd graders but I will definitely miss the way we spent our summer.

We spent our summer days at the pool with friends.

We spent our summer days anywhere we could find water.... and sometimes that meant our back yard!

We spent our summer days taking trips to cool places like the Explorium!

We spent our summer days wearing pretty sun dresses and learning to sit like a lady!

We spent our summer days swinging on the swing set!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

In ONE month!

Dear Tula,
Mommy goes back to her first full week of work tomorrow! I have enjoyed the summer playing with your big sister, Ivy, organizing every nook of our home, and preparing for your arrival. I have had some not fun times completing boring grad school assignments, fighting heart burn, and dealing with insurance people. Overall it has been a fantastic summer! When God planned your arrival (with the help of Daddy and I) we decided it would be great to start the school year and then have a maternity leave. That is a super plan except for feeling the need to be completely ready for you 1 month early and the tiredness and fatigue that come with starting the school year at 36 weeks preggo! But for you my dear, you are totally worth it. We can't wait to meet you. Ivy talks about you daily and thinks you are going to come out playing baby dolls and candy land. :) Your room is complete.... well, except one thing... you! One month from today you will be in my arms. Can't wait!

Tula's bed and name.... we so love her name! We were worried that we would not find a name that we absolutely love the way we do Ivy's but we really are crazy about it!

Tula's dresser and diaper changing table.... which will be adorned with adorable, cuddly cloth dipes this time around! We are excited- blogging about that soon!

Wall decor :) Daddy loves Tula so much because putting up that wall decal was rather tedious!

Tula's second-hand, looks like new rocker! We could not take Ivy's rocker (since we still rock... and plan to until I simply can't hold her), so an awesome friend offered hers for FREE because it had some minor stains. My mother in law took on the job of recovering it with a lime green polka dotted print and wah-lah it is perfect for rocking Tula Belle!