Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Life of a Mom

Well, back to another school year for me, and back to Carol's for the kids! Can't believe how fast the summer flew by. But then again, it always does. I loved spending the summer with my kids. I know these "baby" days are also going to fly by and I am trying to savor every moment. We had an action-packed summer with swimming lessons, birthday parties, ridin' horses on the ranch, playing in the water, and trips to the zoo, Lake Tahoe and the coast. As for the updates, Bryce is still not walking on his own but he is very close. He has taken a couple steps on his own here and there but only when he doesn't realize he's doing it. But he crawls at lightening speed! His newest word is, "hi." He also now weighs the same as his older sister. Oh, and he loves to dance and bob his head to the music. ;) Emmi is growing taller and becoming such a "big girl." My favorite moments are when I'm in the car with her and she just jabbers away in that sweet little voice, non-stop. She asks question after question, most of which she knows the answer to but just wants to hear if we know ;) For example, driving home from Nana and Papa's tonight:

Emmi: "Mommy and daddy look at the sky, it's pink. What color is it mommy?" Me: "Well, it's pink honey." Emmi: "And blue?" Me: "Yes, and blue." Emmi: "Why is it blue mommy because that's the sky?" Me: "Yes that's right."

And conversations go on and on and on like that with hardly a break. The best is that I can count on my 2-year old daughter to keep me in check. As I'm driving to work the other day (first stressful week back at school) and am running a few minutes late, I just barely miss a green light and have to stop (at one of the longest lights in history, I might add). So I make a frustrated, "ugghhh" noise. And Emmi says, "Mommy, that did not sound very nice." So of course that makes me feel awful and I go on to tell her that she is very right and that I should not get frustrated at little things like that. And Emmi replies, "yeah." That's the life of a mom...they pick up on every little thing we say and do, even when we don't even know they are paying attention.

Since Emmi was a baby, we started a routine where we would read her a book before bedtime. As she has gotten older we also say our prayers after we read the story. Well, lately Dustin has started making up stories and telling them to her. So now every night she asks, "Daddy, can you talk a story to me?" It the cutest thing ever!! And every morning when daddy gets her up, she comes running to me saying, "mommy!!!!" And Brycie greets me with a big 'ol grin from his crib. Oh, how I am going to miss those moments when they are teenagers! Well, maybe I won't miss the moments like when I'm trying to help Emmi "go in the big girl potty" as Bryce is unrolling the TP, then helping Emmi wash her hands as Bryce darts behind me, lifts the lid, and starts playing in the toilet water before I can get around Emmi to stop him. But okay, that's the life of a mom....and I know someday I'll even miss those moments too!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Bryce!!

Our baby boy turned 1-year old yesterday, Tuesday July 12th, 2011!! It's so amazing how fast this year has flown by! Our baby has grown from 8 pounds, 3 ounces on that special day one year ago... to 23 pounds, 5 ounces at his check up yesterday. We celebrated his birthday last Saturday at Nana and Papa's ranch. Mommy put together a "barnyard animal" theme highlighted with cow print table cloths, farm animal lollipop favors and centerpieces, and a giant cow-print smash cake just for Bryce (shown above in my favorite pic from that day). And Auntie Tami did an awesome job decorating the coordinating barnyard cake! Nana and Papa were nice enough to host the whole Rostomily/Emslie clan again for this shin-dig (as they did for Emmi's 2nd b-day). Aside from a small delay from the post office for the favors and decorations, everything went smoothly. Bryce started off the party with a little bit of a grumpy demeanor, but that all changed the minute he dove into his cake! He didn't hesitate for one second before he "smashed" it to smithereens!! We all watched, laughing, as he double-fisted that cake and shoveled it in as fast as he could. He definitely earned his nickname, "Tank!" He has actually accumulated a small list of nicknames..."Chunk-a-munk" (given by mommy), "Bam-Bam" (given by Carol, his daycare provider)," and "Brycie" (endeared by all). Some of his accomplishments the past few months are: waving/saying "bye bye," crawling lightning speed, pulling himself up and walking along furniture,walking with his push-toy, calling every dog "Tessa," shaking his head "no," and giving kisses. His list of words include: mama, dada, papa, bampa (gpa), Tessa, Jinx, pizza, bye-bye, and dat (that). Some party highlights were: Bryce's cake demolition of course, swimming fun, making barnyard crafts, and exploring Nana's garden. The party finale was Bryce opening presents in his jammies (well, mommy opening presents and Bryce eating the paper) and Bryce receiving his 2 new rides: a "ranch mobile" from nana and papa, and a "CARS 4-wheeler" from Gma and Gpa. Fun was had by all, but whew...I was exhausted!!

It's crazy how much they change in this first year. They go from this helpless little precious baby that can't even hold up their head, to a small child, full of personality and taking their first steps toward independence. And in looking at Emilie, who is now 2 1/2 years old (going on 5) it's even crazier how much they change in the next 2 years. I'm just trying, like every other mom, to hold on to every moment, every milestone, every precious smile. Happy birthday Brycie!! Can't wait to watch you grow! Mommy and daddy love you so much!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blessings in Disguise

Many have gone through some sort of trial in their lives...or maybe even several...that they believe was a blessing in disguise. Thus far in my life, as you know, mine was infertility. It was something I believe I needed to go through in order to learn more about myself, my life, my priorities, and my faith. This trial was one that was big in my life so far, however there are so many others out there who are fighting through things much bigger. People that live through those trials and still stay strong and hold onto their faith....those are the people that amaze me. Just recently my mom showed me the testimony of a family friend who is battling cancer. He has had several surgeries and most recently the cancer had spread to his legs. He is a father of three young boys. The oldest boy was the ring bearer in my wedding when he was 5 years old. This man's name is Rudy. In his testimony Rudy writes of his struggle with cancer and he writes about the things that have helped him live through his struggle, most importantly his family and friends. He talks about what God has been teaching him along the way....that he needs people around him and close to him to help him through. The fact that Rudy can talk about his faith and what God is teaching him as he continues to go through this life-threatening disease, is amazing to me. There is a song that is often played on the radio called "Blessings" by Laura Story. Every time I hear that song, I think of Rudy. I have posted the lyrics below to the last chorus because I love the words so much. I have also posted the entire video and song to the right of my blog. If you would like, please push play and listen to the words of this beautiful song. And if you are so inclined, please keep Rudy and his family in your prayers...

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops

What if your healing comes through tears

And what if a thousand sleepless nights

Are what it takes to know You're near

What if my greatest disappointments

Or the aching of this life

Is a revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy

And what if trials of this life

The rain, the storm, the hardest nights

Are your mercies in disguise

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Three years and nine months ago, in August 2007, I wrote a post on this blog called, "Tunnel." I chose the name "Tunnel" for my post based on one of my favorite songs by Third Day. Our 8th fertility procedure had just failed, and little did we know, we were about to have 2 more failed attempts, and finally on our 11th attempt (almost a year later), through a frozen embryo transfer, we got pregnant with our precious Emilie. In that Tunnel post, I talk about my feelings of starting to lose hope. I also talk about holding on to my faith, knowing that God has a plan for me. At the time, having faith was not always an easy thing to do, but it was the only thing that kept me going. A quote from that post: "One day when we have our baby, whether it be from pregnancy or adoption, we will be able to look back and say, "Oh, that was your plan, God." And we won't be able to imagine it any other way." And yes, almost 3 years later, I do see God's plan. You can see it too, above in that picture! Little did I know that His plan was not only to give us one precious child, more than we could have ever wanted, but to give us two!! God's plan is not only great, it is greater than you can imagine.

Last week was "National Infertility Awareness Week." Many posts on Facebook read, "Infertility is a heart-wrenching, faith-questioning, relationship-testing, life-altering experience." Only those that have experienced it, know the truth of that statement. For all the friends and family I know, and the millions I don't know, still fighting infertility, this post is for you. As I said in my post almost 3 years ago, "I know there is a light at the end of this tunnel somewhere but sometimes it's so hard to see. I pray that God will show me that light soon." Just keep fighting your way towards that light. Two little ones, named Emilie and Bryce, are proof it's there. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Phase of a 2-year Old...And Other Fun Events

Yes, we are beginning to enter into the opinionated, independent, tantrum-bearing phase filled with the lovely tune of, "No, I don't want to go to time-out!" It's the phase of the so-called, "terrible twos." And yes, this phase does earn its name. But thank goodness, for the sanity of mommy and daddy, it's not always Emmi's evil twin that shows her face. It's amazing how in an instant she can go from that, to melting our hearts once again. All we have to do is hear her say one of these Emmi classics: "Hi daddy, I love you; Tessa is a good doggie; Mommy, will you read me a book?; Mommy, are you doing okay? (as I slave away in the kitchen); and Mommy, I love you so much." And I have to admit, even when she's trying to be naughty, Dustin and I have to sometimes hide our faces so she won't see us laughing. Along with the 2's she is becoming smarter and smarter everyday. One day a couple of weeks ago, she turned to her daddy and said,"Daddy, dinosaurs are extinct." Four days earlier we were at the doctor's office and our room had a huge dinosaur mural on the wall and daddy was telling her all about dinosaurs. She was just quoting her daddy! And on the way to daycare the other day she said, "Mommy, there are blossoms on the trees." Apparently Carol had taken the kids for a walk at daycare and they were talking about springtime and the blossoms on the trees. They mean it when they say kids are like little sponges!! She soaks in everything she hears...and remembers it! Consequently, Dustin and are really starting to have to watch what we say around her!! Cause she will spout it out a week later.

Bryce update: Our big boy is getting bigger and bigger everyday. He is now almost 8 months old and over 22 pounds. As we like to say, he has not missed a meal! Although we thought he would be way more excited about eating solid foods than he is. So far he loves applesauce and pears (all mommy home-made, of course), but gags every time we try to feed him a vegetable. He loves that bottle of his more! What's more to say about Bryce? The thing that stands out most is that his giant smile lights up the whole room. And those dimples are to die about, melting mommy's heart! I'm going to have a hard time saying no once he enters into the "2 phase!" All he's going to have to do is bat those long eyelashes and flash me that adorable smile, and I'll be in big trouble.

The Past 2 months: As usual, it's been awhile since I've posted. So just wanted to quickly write about some fun events/trips that have happened in this time. The pics above highlight those events. First of all, we celebrated Emmi's 2nd birthday with family, up at Nana and Papa's ranch. We had a "penguin-themed" party with penguin crafts, penguin decorations, penguin cupcakes, and even a penguin pinata! Really, it was a birthday weekend, as Nana and Papa hosted my whole family from Lodi for the weekend. We had fun playing with the horses, roasting marshmallows at night by the fire pit, and eating lots of yummy food! We also had a fun weekend visiting Uncle Nate and Aunt Nikki in Nipomo. It was beautiful weather that weekend so we got to go hang out on Avila beach. Emmi loved playing in the sand! And Bryce just loves being outside no matter where we are! We also got to spend a weekend up at Shaver with some friends. It was the coldest storm of the winter, but we made it up there and the kids all had a blast...and the parents too :) And last but certainly not least, was our favorite event of all...DISNEYLAND!!! Thanks to Nana and Papa, we got to spend a weekend at Disneyland in celebration of Nana's retirement! The whole Smith clan was there and it was a trip to remember. Emmi and Bryce's first trip to Disneyland! I don't know who had more fun...the kids on their first trip to Disney...or me?!

I've said it before but I'll say it again...this parenting thing is the hardest job on earth...but it's also the BEST! And how blessed I am to be able to do it...twice!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!

(Above: Our silly picture with Santa. Got the kids all dressed up and Emmi all excited to see Santa, only to get there and have them tell us their computer system crashed so we would have to take pics with our own camera. Par for the course these days! We had a window of about 3 seconds before Bryce started bursting into tears so this is the most decent photo we got. Emmi is making a weird face and Bryce looks like he's terrified...classic Santa pic!)

Last year at this time we had one crawling baby girl. This year, a walking, talking almost-2-year-old and a 5-month old. Emilie is our little smarty pants. She can sing her ABC's, count to 10, and say anything a 5-year old can say. "Mommy, I'm making guacamole," she says as she contentedly works in her play kitchen that grandma and grandpa bought her as an early Christmas present. Excuse me, are you not even two yet, and saying words (with all the correct sound pronunciation, I must say) like guacamole in a full sentence?? At home she never stops talking. Around others, she is very quiet and reserved...much like her mommy in that way. Of course, since she is almost 2, she does have that "terrible two" streak in her. Like when I ask her to do something and she says, "I busy right now mommy." Or when she points her little finger at me and sternly says, "I NOT going to time-out!!" But what fun would it be if she was ALWAYS so sweet and loving?? ;) Emmi is very excited about Santa this year. Oh, and also the Grinch. "I love the Grinch mommy," she says, and in the same thought she tells me, "Santa is coming to town!" It just makes my heart melt every time.

Bryce is also coming out of his "baby shell" a little more each week. He is our future offensive lineman, weighing in at 18 pounds, 8 ounces, only 6 pounds less than his sister. Although with those huge hands, mommy still thinks he might have a shot at quarterback. But for now, he loves to sit in his bumbo and watch his sister play, loves to stand up (with mommy's help of course), and loves to sit on the couch and watch the game (whether it be football or basketball) with daddy. As long as his tummy is full and he's not being confined to his carseat (which he hates with a vengeance), he is a happy little boy. And with that smile, those dimples, big brown eyes, and long eyelashes, I am sure I will have to chase the girls away. It's hard to believe that next Christmas he will also be running around and talking up a storm!

Just a little over 2 years ago, I didn't have either of these 2 beautiful kids in my life which is difficult to even imagine now. I wanted kids more than anything else in the world, but I didn't realize the degree of absolute, pure joy they would bring me every single day. Emmi likes to say to us, "I love you THIS much" (with arms outstretched as far as she can reach). Little does she know, that doesn't even begin to describe how much she is loved back.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What a difference a year makes!

Ahhh, favorite time of year! Hard to believe that last year at this time we were a family of 3 and Emilie wasn't even walking yet! What a difference a year makes!
Here is my Top 10 List of the differences from then to now:
Difference #1: Life is busier and crazier than ever
Difference #2: As you can see, it's much harder these days to capture a family photo
Difference #3: Dustin and I have to "tag team" getting ready in the morning. It goes something like this...Dustin feeds Bryce while I get ready, I get Emilie up while Dustin gets Bryce dressed, I get Emilie dressed while Dustin feeds Bryce again, Dustin gets the kids in the car while I carry the diaper bag, my pump, Bryce's milk, and my purse to the car, and Dustin gets ready while I take the kids to daycare.
Difference #4: Speaking of daycare, $1400/month vs. $700/month
Difference #5: I used to rush after work to go pick up Emilie as soon as I could. Now the only time I have to get anything done is between work and picking up the let's just say, Carol has the kids until at least 5:00 on most days
Difference #6: Any simple task, such as going to the grocery store or going to the post office, takes major planning on my part...I have to pretty much plan my whole week around it
Difference #7: The word "multi-tasking" has taken on a whole new meaning
Difference #8: Little baby boys are way more high maintenance than little baby girls
Difference #9: There is nothing more fufilling than watching your baby girl run over to her baby brother, give him a kiss, look up at me and say, "I love him" ...and watching him stare back up at her with "googly eyes" and a huge smile (with dimples of course!)
Difference #10: Twice the fun, twice the laughs, twice the love, twice the blessings