Wednesday, October 30, 2013


It's time to be honest so here are some truths that I am wrestling with today in this season of my life.

 It is true that when I go in public with 3 children that I feel like I might have a mini heart attack.  Even when they are absolutely well behaved, the baby is sleeping, everyone holds hands to cross the parking lot- I still have a tightness in my chest that won't go.  I want to be totally calm because really even if they are all being crazy people get the math of 1 adult, 3 children and would understand if everyone isn't perfectly obedient.  I want to be calm but no matter what I haven't figured out how to go out in public with 3 children and feel calm. 
Instead here is the truth:
I sweat.
My heart races.
I might not be able to breath.
I grit my teeth.
I give mean looks to my children communicating "DO WHAT I SAY OR ELSE!"
But deep down, I want to be totally calm.
It is true that I am a lifetime weight watchers member meaning I have met and maintained my weight before and get to go for free to meetings/weigh in if I am at my goal weight.  It is also true that they have a program for nursing mothers.  It is also true that I have been going for nearly 8 weeks and guess what..... I have gained and lost, gained and lost staying within 1 1/2 lbs of my start weight.  Seriously!  While nursing I can't lose weight.... and it is totally true that this makes me really really mad!
 So here is the truth:
I haven't lost a single pound since 2 weeks post partum.
I am really envious of people who have babies and look totally awesome.
I really want to not care and know it's just a season.... but I care... and want to lose this weight!

It is true that I absolutely love nursing.... I really do.... when I have no other children, a quiet peaceful nursing space, and have no where to go and be.  But guess what friends, that isn't my life!  It is true that while nursing my rambunctious Tula likes to be wild OR in my business.  It is true that she has had many successful attempts of flinging up the nursing cover only to expose it all to innocent passing strangers.  Poor people!  It is also true that I can't stand pumping and just the thought of going back to work with this black suitcase makes me want to crumble.  Ick! It is also true that even though I 100% believe and know that formula fed babies are healthy and very much loved by their mommy's I feel guilty when I am devising a plan to wean in the back of my mind.  And I feel guilty when I nurse and my family is late getting somewhere because of my poor planning or when I can't really parent Tula while nursing baby Joss.  Why does mommy guilt like to attack everyone!?!? 
So here is the truth:
I want to be done nursing.
I don't want to be done nursing.
I feel guilty about both.
So I really can't make up my mind.

These faces make the anxiety, chubbiness, and breastfeeding-multitasking all worth it but shoooo, no one said it was easy and it definitely isn't.

There you have it.... my mommy truths for the day.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Day

This Sunday we dedicated our day to pumpkins!  We had a most relaxing pumpkin day in our pajamas until the afternoon.  We did not leave the house- even to go to church.  We had "home church." Complete with this sweet pumpkin devotion found on Pinterest, singing each family member's favorite praise and worship song, and enjoying fall together! It was a great day!

We started by painting these mini pumpkins that Ivy hand picked just for painting! She must have had her idea up in that little artistic brain of hers because in no time she had a very peculiar face complete with cat eye glasses, green lips, a spider on her face, and multicolored snakes for hair. 

Tula's favorite part was gluing eye balls all over her pumpkin face!  Their pumpkins turned out so cute and they are currently the only fall decor in my home.  I sure do love fall but I am not a fan of seasonal decorations... unless my kiddos make them or it's Christmas time!!
By night, it was time for pumpkin carving!  The girls had fun playing the goop and sorting out the seeds from the goo.  We made some delicious pumpkin seeds after they did the "dirty work." 
Don't be fooled.... Tula really didn't like getting her hands messy!  She had to stop to wash them several times whereas our girly girl, Ivy loved squeezing the pumpkin guts and making quite the mess on the floor. 
We saved the actual carving until post bedtime!  We were being pretty simple this year.  I told Greg I really wanted to use the drill (Thank you again, Pinterest!) so he decided a moon and stars pumpkin is what we would do.  It really is pretty!  Pumpkin Day might just need to be a new Smorstad Family tradition to add to all the wonderful things my family loves about fall!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Joss Maven @ 2 months

Joss Maven
2 months on 10/13/13

23 1/4 inches (71%)
9 lbs 11 oz (16%)

At 2 months, this smiley, happy, sleep loving, sweet talking baby is a joy to be around.  Time seems to be flying and it is hard to believe she is already 10 weeks old.  I feel like she was born yesterday but also completes our  family giving me a sense that she has always been here.  
What's going on @ 2 months?
Sleep.  As far as sleep goes it seems we have hit the jackpot.... maybe "third one's a charm" phrase is ringing true with Joss.  I am afraid to type out how long she is sleeping for fear of jinxing it because at 2 months Tula was only waking up once and Lord knows that she went down hill from there waking all. night. long. to eat and sleeping in my arms until 8 months old.  But now that we are 8 weeks into sleeping through the night it's safe to say.... Joss sleeps through the night.  She sleeps from 10:30 to 7:30 most nights- sometimes a little longer, sometimes a little shorter.  She is currently cozy in a swaddler, with her hands pushed out by her face and laying on her side (her choice to roll that way... not mine) in the co-sleeper bassinet attached to our bed. I feel rested like I can conquer the world.  Soon she will probably move to her room but I secretly love having her so close by so I can take a peek at her at least 50 times before I actually fall asleep. She also naps A LOT- I am not sure if she is just "resting her eyes" to block out the busy-ness when the big girls are home or if she truly enjoys sleep this much.  She naps in the swing, bouncy seat, and car seat.... I don't believe she has ever napped in her bed/bassinet.... I think I am a little too on-the-go for that! :/

Eat. Joss eats good and often during the day to make up for the long stretch at night.  She never goes longer than 3 hours but usually hovers around 2 1/2 hours between each feeding.  After having mastitis I noticed a huge drop in my supply from my left breast and had to supplement with formula for one of the evening feedings when she was eating every 2 hours.  She takes the bottle wonderfully and has no trouble digesting the formula.  I was able to pump at that time and now seem to have enough milk to sustain her on most evenings but it has been nice to get a full storage of breast milk and let daddy have a chance to feed her.  I am thankful that she has been very flexible with breast, bottle, formula, etc. because I am not sure how long I will keep up with pumping when I go back to work.  Pumping really stinks! I may change my mind when I start to enjoy a moment to sit down and relax in the dark dusty storage closet complete with cobwebs and dust bunnies during the hustle and craziness of back to work. Maybe I'll enjoy the down time... we will see!

Play.  Joss loves to look around and specifically notices big shapes.... the frames on our family room wall, ceiling fan, our headboard, etc.  She also loves the lights on her play mat and the butterfly hanging on her bouncy seat.  She is also more than happy to be swinging in her swing which usually puts her right to sleep after a little bit.  Joss loves to be talked to and will give smiles freely but gets sad with a puckered out lip if you walk away.  Baby girl loves to be held.... by women.... sorry Daddy and Pops but sometimes Joss just knows you are not the same and she lets you know!  I know this is just a phase as my big girls LOVE the men in their lives dearly and before long I'll have to wait in line behind them- but for now I enjoy being Joss' favorite playmate! 

It is hard to believe how quickly our Baby Jossi has grown.  I am soaking up the next 2 and half weeks of maternity leave with her- especially our alone time when Tula goes to school a few days a week.  I know that time will be hard to come by when I go back to work.  I am thankful for Joss' sweet smile, good health, and the perfect ending to our family! With the addition of her, Daddy and I truly have a life wrapped in pink!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fall Family Field Trip....The Orchards

 I love fall and I love the festive adventures it brings.  Going to the orchard is definitely one of my favorite things to do with family and friends so this year nothing was stopping us.... not a newborn, not HOT temperatures, not a very temperamental 3 year old! I was determined and it was a fun day.  I am glad we got to take this family field trip to Evan's Orchard!

 Tula loving her spot on the hayride... on Daddy's lap!

 Loving the big pumpkins and wanting lots of them for our house.

 Crafty Ivy set her eyes on the little perfectly round ones for painting. 

 Climbing adventures

 Hamster wheel adventures

 Loving these sister smiles :)

 Ivy loves to "pose" no matter where she is!

 All the girls needed a picture of Joss' first orchard trip.... even when I look at this picture it takes a minute to realize I have 3 little girls! 
One trip wasn't enough..... so we had a girls day at Boyd's Orchard with Kayla and Caroline and Ivy's sweet friend, Sienna.  And oh my goodness, did I realize I had 3 kiddos on this day!! I was so thankful for Kayla being there and being willing to help me.  It was so much fun and to be honest the girls were really great- until everyone melted at the same time too close to nap time.  It was exhausting mentally trying to keep up with everyone and meet Joss' little baby needs.  I probably bit off more than I could chew but am glad I went for it and now I can say- I can do it!! Sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet....and yesterday I did! 
And today we are having a day of rest! :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

the sounds

 Over the past couple of weeks I have realized that my house has a sound to it.  These are the sounds of a house full of little ones and I don't want to forget them.  Even when there are moments, even hours or days, that I crave silence I want to remember the sounds of my house at this time in this season of my life.  

Now that Tula is growing up she has become Ivy's number one playmate.  She wants to be with her big sister all the time.  I hear the sound of best friends- constant playing in a land of girly make believe.  Don't get me wrong best friends will fight too!  So I have my ears open to the times that I need to intervene when they just can't seem to agree on where their babies will sleep or who's doll where wear what.... but overall I am hanging on to the sound of sisters transforming into friends.
I hear giggling..... loud, silly giggles!  These girls laugh and laugh loud.  The later it gets the louder they get as they are trying to push that feeling of sleepiness away.  I have to say- Greg and I are bad about telling them to stop acting crazy so close to bed time but I know it's a sound I want to remember.  My house won't always be full of laughing children.
Asking for hugs, one more hug, just one more hug.... when you are trying to get out the door that is always the time that they want to be loved on.  I am enjoying that sound.  I know one day I will be begging for their cuddles and hugs and kisses and they will be too big and trying to get out the door to go meet their friends.  I don't even want to imagine the sound of their teenage voice.... "Mom, I have to go! I am not giving you another hug!"
The sound of a baby.... grunting, ooh-ing, sucking on her paci, and even the sound of that little tiny baby cry.  I don't want to forget these sounds that I have enjoyed 3 times in the past 6 years.  I want to remember what it's like to have a newborn and hang on to those memories of this stage of motherhood.
Baby talking..... Joss has just started "talking" to us.  I love when babies make noises, eye contact, and smiles to respond to everything you are saying.  Joss talks our ears off after the big girls go to sleep!  She is ready to be the queen bee and ready to have all of mommy and daddy's attention.   
The sound of the biggest sister.... so maternal... talking to the baby sister.  The role that Ivy has now is so very different than the role she had when Tula was a baby.  She is so big next to Joss and really does a good job being a little mama.  Right now Joss loves having the attention of her big sisters.  I am sure there will be a day when she thinks it's absolutely dreadful to have so many people bossing her around but for now it's all sounds of love!
Looking at Joss is really taking us back in time.... so right now you hear the sound of lots of reflecting on our moments as being a parent for the first time.  Looking at Joss evokes all that emotion that we had when Ivy was a baby because they look so much alike.  I see these two sisters and the resemblance and it is actually a little scary- God is such an artist and the way He weaves genetics so that two little people can look so much the same is quite a talent!  

I know these sounds will be so fleeting as children grow too quickly.  Right now I spend a lot of time sitting and listening while I am nursing Joss and I don't want to forget what I hear.  I don't want to forget the sounds of having three little ones filling our home.