Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wyatt's First Ranger Game

This past Friday, May 31, we took Wyatt to his first baseball game for JB's birthday.  JB is a big Kansas City fan so he wasn't supporting the home team. Uncle Taylor got to come with us too - it was really sweet to have him along with us for the memory.  Special thanks to my sis who stayed at home with Abigail.

Wyatt did great.  He liked to look at all the sights and especially watch the planes.

He did have one "naughty" moment when he finished his hot dog and then promptly crumpled up the wrapper and chunked it 4 rows in front of us, bouncing it off some ladies head.  So random - he was just being 3.

He ate a hot dog, popcorn, lots of lemonade (a few trips to the bathrooms), lemon chill and ice cream from the cool plastic helmets.

Wyatt made it the WHOLE GAME and we watched the Friday night fireworks from the parking lot. He didn't even sleep in the car, but when we got home at 11pm, he promptly announced it was time to go to bed and gave everyone hugs and went to his room.

Uncle Taylor, Wyatt and JB

Proof I was there sweating with everyone else! :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Summin' it Up in Pictures

So, what has been going on the past couple months??

Enjoying cousin time - Baby Lilly is getting so big!

Enjoying time at the Botanic Garden with our friends the Helms

Enjoying our cousin time with Tessa - can't believe she will be in kindergarten next year.  Will make us sad we won't get to see her as much.

Celebrated my birthday with a dinner at one of my favorites - Fuzzy's.  I just love Wyatt's face in this!  It says "Take the dang pic Mom!"

Then the next day, Daddy took the day off work and we all went and road Thomas the train.  At lunch afterwards, Wyatt declared his favorite part of the day was riding the hot smelly shuttle that took us from our car to the train station.  Of course ;)

JB got us tickets with "Wicked" for Valentine's/My Birthday.  We enjoyed a nice dinner and show while JuJu watched the kids.

The weather has officially started heating up and we are outside all day, every day.

.....and my children look more and more like twins everyday.

Finally, when I have NO spare time and two busy toddlers, I have somehow managed to get my backyard flowerbeds somewhat looking good - the irony!  Maybe it is because I have such good gardening helpers.  The kids are really learning about plants and Wyatt can tell you the names of many of them - so cute!

We have become pretty good at riding our bike - FINALLY. 

We have made sure everyone understands the importance of a safety helmet ;)

JB and I had a night away from the kids for the Hoffman/Lucas wedding at the Crescent in Dallas.  Thanks to Nana & Grandad. 

More cousin time with Tessa and at the Botanic Gardens

We got a new water/sensory table.  AWESOME!

Enjoyed Mayfest! YUM TURKEY LEGS!

Wyatt, age 3 years 4 months, 36 inches at Mayfest 2013

Got the pics back we had made around mid-April.  So precious.  Great Mother's Day gifts.

Wy and Abby have become pretty good buddies. Sure they argue a lot but most of the time they play pretty well together, especially outside. I can work in the flowerbeds and the entertain themselves for a while.

Abigail is still more than a little obsessed and in love with Sully. He doesn't mind it a bit. She likes  to go  climb in his crate with him when he is trying to nap.

We finally started using the ice cream maker our friends got us YEARS ago.  SOOOOO fun!

Our California cousins, the Kohns, came to visit.  Wyatt and Kurt are only 4 months apart.  They had a great time.  Wyatt told me the other day that he wanted to go see Kurt and it made him sad that Kurt lived FAR FAR FAR away.

Wyatt had his last day of preschool mid-May.  He was sad and actually cried on the way to school when I told him that  he wouldn't see Ms. Dawn until the Fall again. He LOVED preschool.  A decision that I agonized over but one that I am so glad I made.  It has been great for him.

Having fun playing together.

Abigail has hit a bit of a rough phase.  We see a lot of full-on-out throw herself on the floor, kick and scream tantrums lately.  And no, she does not spare me in public.  She really thinks people at the grocery store like to see her performances.  Ugh....just a phase I tell myself and try to remember it will ONE DAY leave as quickly as it came.  For now, we just keep her hidden away in the house and don't go out to eat much ;)

WHEW! I think that about catches us up!

A New Project

Hello Long Lost Blog Readers,

I need to apologize again for my long absence.  I was a consistent blogger with Wyatt and then came my second pregnancy and Abigail, and blogging just wasn't on the schedule and just wasn't in my heart.  I wanted to blog to have a record of our lives but I just wasn't feeling it.

One of the gals that kept me blogging this long is my friend Allena (an old friend from college).  I followed Allena's blogging when it took her to be a contributor on Austin Moms Blog.  I started following it and thought "Fort Worth needs something like this!" Long story short...I emailed the larger network it is a part of expressing interest, they matched me up with another gal, Carly, who had expressed interest, and the rest is history...or history in the making perhaps.  

My new project is

I am SUPER excited about it.  We actually launched May 20th, but I am just now getting the chance to put it on my own blog.  We have 10 contributing writers, along with my co-founder and I.  It is a great outlet for me to write about topics that are dear to my heart but I want to share them with other moms beyond my personal blog which is more a family album.  So, with this new project, I am excited to have a clearer picture of this blog and what I want it to return to - A Blog about the Strongs.  Hope to start getting some family stuff up here soon! Be patient with me though - my plate is full and overflowing with fun new responsibilities and I am still learning to juggle those along with my active family and trying to make it in bed before 1am everynight.

Momma Strong

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Target Therapy

I have some friends, who will remain nameless (you know who you are, you brats!) who make me feel bad about myself.  They don't mean to...but somehow they are able to be with their children, run a business on the side, get dinner on the table, keep a clean house, exercise and even SHOWER DAILY.  I swear they have a nanny and chef locked in their basement...or maybe they are locking their children in their basements?  I see others and think....they are doing it all, why can't I get my crap together?

Today Abigail and I went to Target.  As I strolled the kids clothes, I over hear two moms talking.  Both are wearing babies tucked tight to their chests (yea for baby wearing)...the first says "I have lost myself.  I don't think it is good for anyone - me, the kids, my poor husband - to have me feel like this"....the second "I feel the same way, but who has the time for themselves? I need to figure out something, too".

I could not resist talking to them. They smiled when I approached and said "I was eavesdropping and just had to say - I am right there with y'all".  They also had older toddlers and we laughed about how we all feel this way.  I told them I was just commenting to my husband the day before that I felt like I was bored and disenchanted with myself lately and need something beyond being a mom (note I said disenchanted with myself,  not my beautiful family). One talked about how she had friends who had "other" things in their lives and she just didn't know how they did it. I could not have related more.

We talked about how we want something "else" in our lives but they only times we have are evenings and weekends.  The first gal commented "but in the evenings I am just trying to feed the family and get the kids down. then I am too exhausted for anything else" and the second woman said "...and the weekends you feel guilty to be away because you are cutting into family time".  We all kind of stood there for a moment in silence and agreement....there seemed no  real solution.  I excused myself and told them to have a great day and when they figured the secret out, please broadcast it as a commercial on Disney Junior because that would be the only way I would see it and we parted ways with smiles of encouragement to one another.  

I continued to the check out line where I was SURROUNDED by moms with screaming kids.  I held Abigail on my hip as she had decided she was done with the basket and I saw many other moms doing similar juggling moves with babies and toddlers.  I teased a poor bachelor guy in front of me buying deodorant  coffee creamer and English muffins telling him that he must not have heard that you get 10% off if you bring a toddler on Thursdays.  He laughed and said he wondered if he had missed some sort of memo.

It felt wonderful to be surrounded by others wrestling the same issues I am.  It was like attending a support group meeting.  We all looked a bit tired, and I felt accomplished as I was at least showered and dressed in real clothes - many were in sweat pant outfits.  Sometimes getting out of the house feels like a big feat and at times it really is.....I felt very much a part of the sisterhood...we all had a small victory that day getting out of the house and an errand run.  We all deserved a pat on the back or at least an offer to help us to our cars (which of course Target doesn't do - they also only had 3 lanes open, are you kidding me?).

I realized all those women who I visited with and smiled at in the check out lines, probably have friends who think they are "doing it all" and yet they don't feel that way about themselves.  Sometimes even just a few words with strangers makes me remember I am not alone in my quest to find that balance of mom, wife and self.  It was therapeutic in reminding me I need to be forgiving of the fact that (as my smart husband reminds me all the time ) "it is just that time of life".

I left Target actually energized and a bit refreshed...usually I just feel tired and ready to stop wrestling the kids.

Oh and be forewarned, Target therapy ain't cheap.  I went into Target for a new backdoor mat.  I walked out feeling encouraged for $236.58 (and no door mat).

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kid Update

When I started this blog so many years ago it was all about my pregnancy and then Wyatt.....since Abigail I have veered off a bit, but to return to the old is an update on the munchkins.

When he finally went to the potty at school, he was rewarded with a cake ball at Blue Bonnet Bakery!

  • Turned 3 in December, was perfectly 30 lbs and 30 inches tall at his one year appt (small for his age) 
  • Totally daytime potty-trained (diapers at night), he has FINALLY agreed to start using public restrooms, including the ones at preschool.  Up until this week, he has (since October) been going to school in underwear and holding it the entire 3 1/2 hours.  It made his teachers so sad and worried about him but I know the kid has a bladder the size of Texas and is stubborn as his parents so he would do it in his own time.
  • He narrates his life CONSTANTLY.  While riding in the car he especially talks the entire time, sometimes he sings about everything. 
  • He is really starting to ask some good questions , like "Who is God?" that sometimes make me have to really think before I answer.  He is starting to really understand more of the world around him and little things like planting seeds and watching plants grow is so fascinating to him.
  • He goes to school Tues/Thurs mornings and LOVES it.  He has little friends that he talks about and does well at school.  They have been focusing on the 5 senses lately.  On the way home today he told me that they listened to lots of music but his favorite was the 'rocker roll kind'. :)
  • Still obsessed with anything that "goes".  Cars, trucks, trains, planes, monster trucks, construction equipment, etc.  He is ALL boy.  Definitely our little engineer, if it weren't for a pesky little sister, he would stay in his room for hours building crazy train systems.
  • Sleeps in a twin bed now - no problems with the transition and loves to snuggle down in it every day for nap and bedtime
  • Still going thru a picky eating stage, but getting a little bit better. 
  • He is at that point where he seems like such a big boy some days but then again I have to remember he is still such a little guy. He is more and more fun to take to do things and is always ready to go on adventures.  We are obviously a little bias but he is just a sweet fun kid  and we cherish every minute we are with him!
Just a normal outfit for the diva.
  • 16 1/2 months old...going on 13.
  • TOTAL diva.  She loves clothes and dressing up, as in the above picture. She brings me super hero caps and hats and shoes to help her put on all the time.  She is almost all girl (it is just in them I am convinced) she likes to wear jewelry and totes around purses (they are usually filled with brother's match cars).
  • Still wears a fair amount of 9-12 month clothes, so she is super tiny for her age.
  • I can't even count all the words and phrases she knows.  She comes out with full sentences often. Unlike her brother, who has struggled with speech, Abigail amazes us every day....calling her "scary smart" is often between JB and I.  She was walking around counting "1, 2, 3!" today and has even started identifying some colors and shapes. 
  • She is going to be easy to potty train, I think. She has already gone to the bathroom a few times on the tiny training potty before bath and she tells me a few times a day that she needs to go potty, demands I take off her pants and sits on the potty.  Usually you can tell that she has just gone to the bathroom in her diaper. 
  • OPINIONATED and short tempered. She is not an easy kid, plain and simple. She does not like to be told "no" or made to do ANYTHING.  Unlike most kids her age, she cannot be distracted - if she wants something or to be doing something, there is NO way of getting it out of her head, so you just have to put up with the tantrums.
  • She throws a fair amount of tantrums.  She understands time out and we have had to use it some for her hitting us or Wyatt (oh, it makes me so frustrated she is doing this).  She will go thru the entire process and even hugs us and says sorry.
  • She still screams most of the time she is in her car seat.  I am hoping when we flip her around later this summer that MAYBE facing forward will help (please Lord, have it help, we are all at our wits end with this)
  • She gives the best and sweetest little tight hugs around your neck and tells us "i wuv oo" all the time.  It melts our hearts.
  • On a daily basis I tell her how lucky she is that she is so dang cute, because she is SUCH a challenge.
  • A climber, she is on the kitchen table or the fireplace if you turn your back for a second. 
  • She LOVES music and especially likes to shake her booty. It makes us laugh and we are always asking her to do it for us and she always obliges. 

These two keep me on my toes.  They are really starting to play more and more harmoniously together (until the screaming starts).  It is hard to get much of anything done during the day besides care for and play with them, but I have just resigned myself to the fact that my house will be a little dirtier, my dinners a little simpler and my days a little more full of fun ;)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Grammy Gab

My friend, Allena, of A Gurley Gurl blog always posts on fashion from awards shows and after the Grammy's last night, I decided I would like to do the same. 

I am not so into the movies, rarely see anything until it has been out for over a year, but I am a HUGE music fan so the Grammy's and CMA's are always a favorite.  That is one passion - Music - that I really hope to pass on to my children.

Red Carpet Hotties
Oh Adam, you are so yummy!  I had to make sure to use the pic without your hot girlfriend.

Damn Kelly!
For First-Timers, I think they all cleaned up really nice but kept their style.  Well done, gentlemen of Fun.
...done right.
...done WRONG.  OH SO VERY WRONG. This also  makes her look so incredibly wide and like she is wearing her grandma's panties. 
Speaking of Oh So Very Wrong....
I don't even know where to begin.
 And in other sightings of things that make you say "WHY??"
I know I am not a fashion expert, but good gosh, she looks like she is wearing a cheap old bedspread.  You could do SO much better, Adele.  You are adorable and full of life and personality.  The cut was okay, although I think she should embrace her curves where she looked like she had bandaged herself up and wrapped her body underneath it. 
I hadn't seen the red carpet so when I saw she and Tim presenting and she was talking so weird, I honestly googled it to see if she had had a stroke or ailment or something and then found out - nope, metal braces.  Really, Faith?  Have you never heard of Invisalign?
Solange, I would have been TOTALLY ticked if I was sitting behind you.  And would have offered you a comb.
I really enjoyed most all the performances this year. 
JB recorded it for me but missed Taylor Swifts performance so I can't comment on that.
I like JT's new little gimmick, but honestly got bored with his performance.  I kept wanting to fast forward but then would think "nope, something cool is going to happen" and it was just the same old stuff on and on.
Kelly Clarkson again reminded me what a bada$$ singer she is. 
I liked the mash-ups of the two artists together. 
Adam Levine was his super hot talented self.  Mumford and Sons rocked. Fun. was fun ;)
I wasn't sure about Carrie's laser light show dress, but dang that girl can sing!
Hope everyone else enjoyed the show and found a new artist to check out and expand their musical reportoire. 
Music is what feeling sounds like.

Roast Tacos

This has become one of my new favorites both for just feeding our family (leftovers can be eaten a number of ways) and also great when having guests over and not being stuck in the kitchen all day.

I found it on...Pinterest, or course! The Pinterest link is for this Cooking Classy Blog.

I don't have pics, but the above site does.  Just wish it had smell-a-vision.  The spices and lime make your house smell SO good!

Roast Tacos

Roast Tenderloin (I have used beef, longhorn, buffalo, all comes out fantastic) usually mine are around 2-3 lbs.  You could also use a chuck roast but I think the better cut of meat makes a big difference.

1 Can of Beef Broth
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Juice of 1 lime

If you have a fatty roast, go ahead and trim it.  Then put the roast in your cooker and pour the can of broth over it.

Wisk together all the dry ingredients above.  Sometimes I use more like 1 and a half the above ingredients - slow cookers tend to do a number on spices and I am a TOTAL weenie and it is has never been to spicy or overpowering for me. Pour it on top of roast.

Squeeze the entire lime over it.

Cook all day (8 hours ) depending on your crockpot (mine cooks WAY too high).  You'll notice that the spices are forming a paste on top.  I am always tempted to mess with it, but resist the urge - let it do its magic.  About 30 minutes before you plan on eating, Take the roast out, shred it and then put it back in the crockpot to soak up all the goodness.

We love this on corn tortillas with all the fixings.

The next day I love to use it for salad with shredded beef - YUMMY!