Thursday, May 26, 2011

Christmas....All Over Again

Dear Santa,

At our house, it's like Christmas.... All over again!

I've grown into this new toy and I am all smiles :)

Who knew it would take until May- but who cares.... Christmas is fun no matter what day!

Thank you Santa for my new toy! I absolutely, positively LOVE it!

Love, Tula Belle

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Spring Recital

This Saturday we had our Spring Recital. This time the kinder-dance class did a tap performance! Ivy has been so excited to wear her tap shoes, put on the pretty polka-dotted outfit, add her "recital face," and get on stage :)

I wish we could bottle up a little of her 3 year old confidence to spread out into the teenage years.... but let's just say she was feeling GREAT about herself on Saturday!

"I am going to be REALLY good!"
"I look so pretty in this outfit."
"Can you believe I am this pretty?..... Even prettier than you, Mommy~"

Those were just a few of her positive self image quotes!

After the show with the greatest Grandma's ever..... Nana and Meemaw!

Tula and Daddy..... she loved the show!

Go here to see Ivy Dance!

We will have to see where Miss Ivy's interests are in the fall to find out if we are going to dance again..... or try something else :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Milk delivery... Maybe, Maybe Not

On Monday, I was sad. I was praying for a fast and full delivery of milk!

Tula is 8 and a half months, and breast feeding has been (still is) an awesome journey. I have been so blessed to be able to start nursing right away with no complications like I had with Ivy. I have enjoyed every moment nursing and have been thankful for those quiet times with her. It has been a sacrifice- to be the only one up at night time feedings, to be the one sitting in a dusty utility closet twice a day at work, and to not be able to do things like fit into my old clothes, wear pretty bras, and run like I used to! But every bit has been worth it :)

I was sad on Monday because over the last few weeks I have watched my milk supply drop a bit. I think it is largely due to a bad cold (now sinus infection) that Tula has been plagued with, coupled with her dropping night time feedings (a blessing)! However, I have been concerned with the smaller amount that I am producing at work. On Monday, I was 3 oz. short which was not a problem since I have frozen milk but the problem was that I had NO new milk when I got home and it was time to feed my baby. With a heavy heart and tears from her, I prepared the first bottle I have ever fed her- but she took it wonderfully! For that, I was so thankful! She was flexible and let me feed her in this new way.

I talked to the lovely lactation ladies- who have been a great support- and they assured me that a drop in supply was fairly normal at this stage in nursing. They gave me some suggestions and encouragement- some that I will take and some that I will leave. In the end, this is my new plan- since you know I have a "plan" for everything!

I am mixing her bottles at the sitters half milk and half formula- which Tula is tolerating beautifully- thank you, Jesus, for being faithful again during this transition! I have dropped to pumping once at work so that I will be able to nurse Tula when I get home- since I would rather nurse than pump ANY day of the week. And I only have 8 and a half more days of the school year! Goodbye dusty closet- you will not be missed for my daily meetings with the "milk man"!

During the summer I will continue to listen to my body and Tula's responses as to when she needs more than I can make. I am now at total peace with this process. I think this may be an answer to an unspoken prayer- because I might have had trouble letting go of this time with Tula. I also know our little girl is about to have a mouthful of teeth- which frightens me, to be honest. And last, I think starting to do less nursing more bottle feeding will help Tula with the introduction to the sippy cup- which is a total fail at this point!

Overall, I am embracing my loose "plan" that could change tomorrow. Uncertainty is scary to me... but I know this is part of nursing. You don't know how much milk they get, what foods your eating that may upset their little tummies, and how your supply changes overtime. I am leaning into God as I have since being pregnant the second time around. Praying that I would be able to nurse her and boy, has He been faithful. I know either way I will be able to provide my girl with the nourishment she needs- bottle or boob- and in the end, that is all that matters!

Cheers to feeding your baby.... and that is that!

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Wonderful Trip

When most think of a wonderful trip, we begin to think about sand and ocean water, a weekend at the lake, or visiting a city packed with history... but today Ivy had a wonderful trip but it wasn't of the vacation kind. Do you have a guess??

Ivy took her first field trip with Mommy's second graders.

It was a blast! First, she got to ride on a big school bus. This is what she was most excited about. She has been talking about riding a bus ever since she began sending off the buses and greeting them in the afternoon at her babysitters house. So this morning she was up before the sun and wanted to know how long until it was bus time! She sat beside the window and looked so tiny. She chatted ("chached") with some of my little girls and kept giving me a smile as if to say- I can't believe I am doing this?!?!
Then, we went to the Explorium, one of her favorite places to go! She had fun in the bubble room, sitting on the horse, and playing "nurse" with the sick babies. And I have to say, she was great! She fit right in with the big kids... except that they were quite a bit bigger than her! :)
Next stop, Shilito Park for a picnic lunch and some playground time. It was a great surprise to have Daddy meet us there since it was so close to his work. She swung on the big girl swings and had fun watching everyone else. I had quite a few little girls that took her under their wing and entertained Ivy a lot!
She spent the last hour at school with my Smarties in class silent reading and then listening to a read aloud. Ivy sat criss cross applesauce on the carpet with everyone else. She had a wonderful day and wonderful trip.... and she definitely came away with a few new friends!

This was one of those days that I counted my blessings that I am a teacher and I double counted them because I am at a school like Wilmore. It was so fun to enjoy this day playing Mommy and teacher all at once. I had all of my amazing parent volunteers (11 in all!) who helped chaperone and made it possible for me to bring Ivy along. I also had a principal who loved the fact that Ivy was coming along for the day! When she hired me she told me she was a family first boss.... and when Ivy was born she told me she always expects me to be mommy first and she has held true to that time and time again!

Today I was soaking it all in- my cup definitely was overflowing!

Monday, May 9, 2011

To Be A Mother

To be a mother.....

To be a mother means you love unconditionally.

To be a mother means you get welcomed snuggles- morning, noon, and night.

To be a mother means you sacrifice daily- better yet, hourly.

To be a mother means having baby residue caked to your outfit.... and you leave it there!

To be a mother means you worry about every decision- no matter the size.

To be a mother means you are the planner, the organizer, the shopper, the feeder, the everything-er for your family.

To be a mother means you have a heart of gratitude.

To be a mother means you love so much it hurts.

To be a mother means you appreciate the little breaks into reality because sometimes you can only think of fairies, princesses, and babydolls! (unless you are a mama to the blue- and I know other things consume your mind!)

To be a mother means you are an example for little eyes all the time.

To be a mother means you have received a blessing that can never be taken for granted- not in the most sleep deprived night or in the midst of horrific temper tantrums.

To be a mother means you get homemade crafts from the most precious chubby little fingers the first Sunday in May that you will forever cherish.

To be a mother.... can't be put into words.

I hope everyone had an excellent Mother's Day!

And if you are a woman who isn't yet a mother but is waiting so patiently for God's perfect timing- you were in my prayers yesterday. I can't imagine your heartbreak. Your time is coming... continue to be strong and patient, what an excellent story you will have to share with your child someday!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Updates on the SmorsGirls

I couldn't resist sharing this adorable picture of two little girls.... squeaky clean after bath time!

A Tula update- Tula successfully got her tubes last Thursday. The surgery went well but our girl hasn't been quite the same ever since. My mommy instinct believes the two situations are unrelated but regardless it isn't fun! I hope that today is the turning point- she has had NO fever since Friday evening, has eaten the best she has since last Wednesday, and she is overall smiley :) .... like above! We are hopeful that whatever little baby bug she has had is gone and our good sleeping girl should be back tonight. Otherwise this is what is new with Tula:
* She is eating all babyfood and loves it all!

*Her attention span to nurse is short- but her thighs tell me she is still getting plenty of milk.

*She is rolling and scooching her little booty up in the air when she is trying to reach a toy.

* Her favorite toys are the fish she plays with in the tub and she often carries one in her hand all day!

* She says "Da-da" and my favorite expression..."Blah-blah!" If only she knew the meanings :)

* She is starting to really enjoy books- not just eating them- but actually listening to the words and watching Mommy's face as I read.

An IVY update- Ivy is funny! Everyday she has something new up her sleeves and you never quite know what is coming next. Here are some of the latest:
* She knows how to snap and is quite proud of this accomplishment.

* She has learned some new words- like that "buff" means strong- ever since Nana referred to Pops as buff and Ivy responded with, "Yea, he's a buffalo!"

* She is loving all things arts and crafts.

* She is terrified of bugs again this year- these fears have now manifested into nightmares. We inspect the room for bugs (specifically, bees) and right now she is quick to fall back to sleep.

* She likes to "play church." The leaders of our church's pre-school program should know that Ivy is taking it ALL in. She sings, jumps, teaches lessons, and then ends it with saying a prayer- my favorite part.
"Okay, now kids, we are gonna say a pray-er so pete after me"
"Dear Jesus, ---- you need to say it, Mommy"
(She gives me NO wait time, she is ready for me to "pete" right away!)
"Thank you for our church and all the kids in this room. Thank you that you teached us so much."
Ivy may take after Unc and have some preacher genes in her blood!

Overall, the SmorsGirls are happy, growing, and very loved by Papa and MamaSmors!