Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fulfilled in My Job

It has taken me almost a year to realize and admit this to myself and to others...but I am satisfied in my life. I am fulfilled and happy, REALLY happy having the sole job of caring for my child, husband and home. I feel no shame about this and I am not sure why it took me so long to say it outloud.  Let the feminists come knocking at my door, I will answer it barefoot, with my child on my hip, dressed in an apron, with cookies in the oven.  I will invite them in to see my happy home and happy family.

My entire life, I have known that if I had children, I would stay at home with them.  To me there was no other choice.  I also knew that I was driven and THOROUGHLY enjoyed having a career.  So, I struggled with the idea of even having children.  Yet, I always looked for that quality of a provider and a man that believed the same value of having a mom at home when I dated and had relationships.  JB is no exception.  He also believes this is the way to do things.  We had to have a serious talk when we became engaged about the subject because I knew he wanted to be a father and have multiple children (one of the things that drew me to him, also made me worry).  I would tell him I really wasn't 100% sure about giving up my career to raise kids.  He would just smile and say "you'll want them" and he was right.  After almost 5 years of marriage we were both ready and have now been blessed with John Wyatt and hoped to be blessed with more children in the future.

My family, friends and even work always knew about my intentions when I had kids, so it was an automatic when I announced my pregnancy everyone knew I would quit my job.  In fact, I don't think I said "I will be quitting when the baby is born" to work, I just told them "I'm pregnant!" and they knew what it meant.  There were days though that I struggled with this change in my life. I felt smart at work.  I was good at my job.  I made a good living.  I was a career woman.  I began working for a tax firm when I was 16 and then went on to become an accountant.  I had been working for almost half my life in the accounting field.  What would it feel like to not get up every morning, put on business clothes and head to an office to sit behind a computer?

When someone would ask me "do you think you'll like being at home?" I didn't know how to answer.  I knew it was where I was supposed to be, so I have never really considered if I would "like" it or not.  It was like them asking "do you think you'll like being a mom?".  But when I would then think about it, I had no clue if I would like it or not.

Sure, there are up and down days, just like when I worked outside the home.  Do I miss big people interaction?  Well of course.  Do we miss the extra income?  More money was never a bad thing!  Could I imagine myself leaving Wyatt in someone else's care while I went to an office everyday?  No, it is inconceivable.

I have had jobs I loved and jobs I just liked.  I have had jobs that made me feel super smart and ones that drained me entirely.  But never in my life have I felt so fulfilled in a job as my current one. A job to me was in the end, just a job.  It was a means to an end...the end being living comfortably and saving so I could live comfortably in the future.  It was a way to provide for my family.  How amazing is it that the job I now have allows me to completely and totally concentrate on really caring for them?

I do not need to bring home a paycheck to feel like I am contributing to my household - the time I put into keeping my house running smoothly, my husband cared for and my child happy is invaluable. I do not need to deal with the complex tax code on a daily basis to feel smart or improve efficiencies in procedures to feel resourceful - I have found ways in one day to clean an entire house, do 5 loads of laundry, run errands around town, and cook a healthy dinner all while entertaining, teaching and nurturing a child on my hip. I do not need to wear a suit or even fix my hair and makeup everyday to feel like I make a good impression - there is no dress code for sitting on the floor reading books or playing ball in the backyard.  I do not need a boss giving me raises or good reviews to let me know I am important - my husband and child give me hugs and kisses everyday and let me know I am a big part of their happiness, that is validation enough.

Never in my wildest dreams would I ever thought I would feel like this about my job.

First Day of Winter

Wyatt and I spent the first day of winter enjoying some sunny, warm weather. 


The Wyatt Shuffle

I've tried leaves before but not grass!

Come here Sully!  I'll give you a belly rub!


Almost a year old....wow, has the year flown by!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Does Wyatt have enough toys?

Yep, I certainly think he does. 


Note the brown and white dog is not a toy....well, nevermind, actually he is.  He is actually Wyatt's FAVORITE toy - hence why he is catching a quick nap while Wy is distracted with something else.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Move over, baby! That countertop is mine!

For the past 11 1/2 months the counterspace to the right of my sink has looked like this.

As of today.....it now looks like this!


ADIOS BOTTLE WASHING!

A Warm Day in December

Wyatt and I took advantage of the great warm weather today.  We ate lunch on the patio of the Love Shack, went strolling and shopping around University Park Village and after nap, we played in the backyard for a long time! 
I think this outfit is so funny b/c it looks like long-johns but super cute on him.

Sully kept bringing Wyatt his orange ball to play fetch.  When he would whine at him, Wyatt would laugh so hard he couldn't catch his breath.

Oh, you mean this is not what you wanted me to do with your ball??

That is so funny when you throw the ball, Sully goes running really fast after it!!

I can run really fast like Sully!

When you fall down though, you have to touch this scratchy grass - ICK!

Sully! Wait for me!!

I like all these leaves!

When you're out in nature...sometimes nature calls.  Gotta love a good "poopin' face".  I am sure he will not appreciate me including this, but it was too funny not to.

So Long Enfamil AR

Wyatt had his LAST BOTTLE last night. Normally the bedtime bottle and putting Wy to bed are JB's duties, but seeing how it was his last bottle EVER, I asked to be the one to cuddle with him during that last sweet time. 

I remember the days of feeling like all I did was feed Wyatt all day and I dreamed about when bottles didn't rule my days.....my how fast that time has come!

Tonight he didn't seem to notice the missing bottle or if he noticed it, he didn't care.  To be honest, we could have pulled this last remaining bottle a week or so ago, but JB and I just weren't ready. But, we wanted to be done with it before the week of Christmas when we travel and so we had to bite the bullet. 

Here are some pictures of my little baby toddler taking his last bottle.  He wasn't sentimental, but oh how mommy and daddy were.



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Baby Bug

JB and I have always wanted more than one kid and we have talked many times about having 3, since we are each one of three.  I have had some friends become pregnant lately and it gave me a little bit of the baby bug.  Wyatt is no longer a baby....he is a toddler. He walks around, feeds himself, and no longer needs me to rock him to sleep.  For the last couple weeks I have had the bug to have another baby.  I have been telling JB I will be fine with two in diapers and close together.  We aren't getting any younger - why not have them now?

While running errands yesterday, I wrestled Wy who now arches his back and screams when you try to fit him into his carseat.  When we got home, I enjoyed a bit of quiet time while he napped.  This wouldn't be possible unless I magically got them to nap at the same time, which is about as probable as having a unicorn appear in my backyard.  While we waited for Daddy to get home from work, we shared some quiet time together reading books, again, this would be hard for me to do with two little ones wanting to go in opposite directions.

The moment has passed.....my couple of weeks of the baby bug is gone, like a "great" idea you get in the middle of the night and then rethink once you are fully conscious in the morning.  I think we'll let Wyatt get another year or 2 of running the Strong household before we burst his bubble and demand he share his title of "boss". 


My boss eating his breakfast. 


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Spying on the Neighbors

Nothing better than watching the neighbor's mowing crew!

Wyatt and Sully spend a lot of their day staring out the front windows....watching what is going on at the neighbors (which is pretty mundane) and watching the leaves fall and the squirrels in our front lawn.  It is cute to watch them perched up on the window sill together.  Wy had his arm around Sul, but I couldn't grab my cell phone quick enough (hence the bad quality of the pic - cell phone).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

11 months and one week

So I have slacked on monthly Wyatt blog posts.  I forgot to do his 'giraffe in the chair' picture entirely for 10 months, so now I just feel like there is no use doing one now that he is getting so close to his first birthday (mommy whimper).  Ugh, I can't believe how fast this year has gone...anyway, back to his update post.

What's going on with Wyatt??

Mode of Transportation: He RUNS everywhere.

Toy/Entertainment: All the little guy wants to do lately is run around the house with something in his hand, which makes me SO on edge.  It is usually his remote (old one with no batteries) or his paci holder, but sometimes he picks objects that seem so dangerous, like the spatula from his kitchen set.  He loves his school bus that he can put the people in and out of  and it sings 'the wheels on the bus'. He spends a good amount of time with his kitchen set.  He LOVES SpongeBob and laughs so much at the cartoon, but I realize he will have to stop watching it when he gets older so that I don't have to deal with trying to explain to him that bodily functions aren't appropriate humor (burping, farting, etc).  He also likes Sesame Street. 

Bottles: He only takes one bottle a day (bedtime).  I eliminated the breakfast bottle last week and a couple days later, he dropped his lunchtime bottle. I know I could probably pull the bedtime one pretty easily, but JB and I agreed that Mommy & Daddy want another week of enjoying that quiet time with him in the evenings.  We'll pull the bedtime bottle beginning of next week.  SO, we will be completely off bottles before Christmas. 

Eating: Wyatt is a good eater and loves his whole milk.  His fav foods are pasta, anything with cheese(quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwiches), and any fruits, including tomatoes (although bananas are our little monkey's favorite).  He is good about veggies and really turns his nose up at very little - when he does, it is just that he doesn't want to eat it at that meal, but he'll most likely eat it the next time you offer it to him. 

Speech/communication: Quiet Wyatt is still not a big talker - he grunts a lot.  He says Mama and Dada (but only when he wants to, he will not do it on command).  He also says the T sound of "ta" and points at the Christmas tree.  He will wave hi and bye.  He also has one sign language sign - the milk sign - which he uses not only for milk but anything else he wants.  He will point at whatever he wants and then do the "gimmie" sign.  Although he doesn't say many words yet, he does know what a lot of things are and will point to them when asked...like mama, dada, puppy or Sully, toes, fan, book, ball, christmas tree, etc.

Growth: I have no clue how much he weighs, I just know he gets heavy :) I estimate it is around 21-22 lbs.  Wyatt has started to thin out a bit.  He doesn't seem to be getting much taller, but I am sure he is.  His feet are finally growing, so we can buy him cool shoes now - I got him a pair of awesome Nike's yesterday!  His top two teeth broke through this past weekend, so by Christmas we should be able to see 4 teeth!

We are SO blessed.  Wyatt is a super loving, happy and easy-going kid. He plays so well independently when I am cooking or bustling around the house, but loves when you read to him, roll the ball with him or chase him (his FAVORITIE game). 

He has started showing more of an interest in dancing to songs when he hears them, so I am excited about our Mommy & Me music class we will start in January!

It is so funny to start dressing him like a little man lately - we went to dinner for Uncle Taylor's birthday on Sunday and he had a button down shirt with a sweater over it. These are the best pics I could get, as JB had gone to warm up the car and he kept hollering to leave with him.




Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanks Nana!

I love my new SpongeBob pajamas!  They fit me great!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

At the Mall with Cousins

Last Wednesday before Thanksgiving (yeah yeah, I am a little late and out of order), we met up with my sister and her girls to have fun at the mall for a bit.  Both my sis and I should have been home baking and packing for our travels to my parents the next day but EH, gotta have fun sometimes :)  Grace (who is in 2nd grade) was off from school and she never gets to pal around with us during the week.

So, here are some pics from our fun...seeing Santa, taking pics in front of the big Christmas tree, and riding the carousel (Wyatt was still finishing lunch, so we just watched this time). 

NOTE:  Some of the pics although rotated properly on my computer would not load correctly.  For now they are sideways, but I am working to fix them!

Tessa Rose, 2 1/2 years old

All of them are at least looking in the same general direction.

The hugs he doesn't mind....it is the frizzy hair in the face that he just isn't fond of.  But oh how Tess loves to hug Baby Wyatt.

Checking out the tree.

Wyatt loves his cousin, Grace (7 1/2 years old) but he was ready to go and done with pics by this time.

Meltdown beginning.

Full Meltdown Mode.

Telling Santa what to bring her!

Carousel!

Pretty Gracie!

He loves to watch the carousel riders!

Running

Well, I jinxed myself.  In my last post I said "Won't be long before he is running" or something like that....well, now he is. 

He is running....around the house, through the kitchen, down the hallway AND into the walls.  Yep, this week we have had LOTS of spills and "run ins".  He was running and watching behind him, thinking that Sully (who was ASLEEP on the rug) would come after him and WHAMO smack into a corner of a wall.  Poor thing.  It knotted up right between his eyes and the next morning (yesterday) he woke up with two slightly bluish looking eyes and one eyebrow significantly swollen.  UGH.  I should have taken a picture of it to document it, but didn't think about it until now.  The hard thing is that if he is running too fast, you can chase after him to slow him down or he only starts running faster and laughing, thinking you are chasing him.

Anyway...let the injuries begin. We handled learning to walk fine...but I think running is going to be a different story.

Monday, November 29, 2010

New Accessories

My new accessory is....Wyatt (riding in my ring sling).  Ignore the bad photo (I took it myself with the camera timer) and also ignore the unfinished edges on the sling.  I haven't hemmed up the raw seams yet. 

I ordered the rings HERE and then just got some cheap fabric at JoAnn's.  I followed THIS website for the no-sew instructions and how to thread the rings.  I haven't had a chance to use it much yet...just walking to the mailbox, but it feels super secure and a lot more comfortable and hands-free.  I am excited to try it out when we make a trip to the library later this week to return and check out some new books.


Wyatt's accessory of the day...his paci holder.  We don't really use it anymore b/c he only takes one at night (sometimes), but he found it and it is his new toy.  Normally he totes around the remote, 24/7, so I was happy to see a new "tote-along".  I have been calling it his purse all day and telling him "oops, you dropped your purse!"  I'm sure JB will love that I am teaching him to carry a clutch...at least it is a manly brown :)

Note that blurry left foot...he is a SUPER WALKER now!  He will be running in no time!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Spinach Quiche

This is my mother-in-law's recipe (who I think got it from her sister).  So to Aunt Sue or wherever this recipe came from...THANK YOU!  This is super easy.  It is fantastic paired with some fresh fruit. 

The surprising thing about this quiche is that is reheats really well after being stored in the fridge.  Just about 35 seconds in the micro per slice and YUM!

SPINACH QUICHE

1 frozen pie crust
2 tablespoons milk
2 eggs (I used extra large, if you have small eggs, use 3)
1 8 oz block of swiss cheese, grated (sometimes I use less if you don't want it so cheesy)
1 refrigerated package/tube of Jimmy Dean sausage (I use the regular pork sausage - I think it is 16 oz)
1 package of Stouffers frozen spinach souffle

1.  Set the frozen pie crust and the spinach souffle out to thaw.
2.  Brown the sausage.  Once finished put in a large mixing bowl. 
3.  Add the grated cheese (I usually just grate it now directly into the bowl).
4.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
5.  In a small bowl wisk the eggs and milk together. Pour into the big bowl.
6.  Usually the spinach souffle is still a little frozen, so I nuke it a bit, just enough to soften it, so it can be mixed in.
7.  Pour into pie crust and put on a cookie sheet, into the oven for about 45 minutes. 
8.  If the pie crust starts getting too dark, but the quice is still soupy, put foil tents around the top (on the crust ONLY).
9.  Let sit for about 3-5 minutes before cutting into it.

NOTE: This is a "before cooking" picture.  I forgot to take an after picture and we've already eaten it all.  It will get fairly brown on top.


And here is a little picture of my kitchen help, playing in his own kitchen.  He LOVES this toy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Yookidoo, We Love You!

So, I bought Wyatt a tent, per a recommendation from his friend Travis. It's the Yookidoo activity tent.

Probably should have saved it for Christmas, but this Mommy can't hold on to such cool things and make my little guy wait! 

He loves it.  He sits in it with Sully (need to get a pic of this) and hangs out in there playing with the balls.  He thinks it is hysterical if you reach from the outside, underneath or through one of the holes, and grab him!



Apple Cake Recipe Revised

It was brought to my attention today there was a typo in my Apple Cake recipe.  I had put vanilla in twice and left out the cinnamon (super important).  I have corrected it on the original post. Sorry if you made weird tasting apple cake!

If you haven't tried it, HERE IT IS. Fix it! It is AWESOME!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Somebody is getting coal this year....

...if they don't start being nicer to Santa.

Guess everyone has to have their token "First Screaming Picture with Santa".  Here's Wyatt's!

Just Like Texas Weather

As the saying says about Texas weather...."if you don't like it wait a minute and it'll change".  Such is Wyatt (and every other child out there).  The ABSOLUTE BEST BEST BEST advice I have been given, and that which I pass on to all new moms, is that things change constantly, so don't stress when you kid isn't sleeping - it'll change.  He's not eating?  Don't worry, he'll be a chow-hound next week. 

It is hard to believe this when you are on your third morning waking up at 5am with a "ready to play baby" who USED to sleep in until at least 6.....but it changes just as quickly.....now Wyatt is sleeping in until 7 or so.  That's the way to kick it to daylight savings!

Wyatt is a random napper....he always naps in some fashion....somedays it is just one 3 hour nap and other days he naps 2 perfect 1 1/2 hour perfectly spaced naps.  Sometimes he snoozes a few times in the car while running errands and I don't get him to go in his bed all day.  But he is so great about rolling with our varying schedule I can't complain.

Just wanted to post a little reminder out there to my other mommy friends as a reminder if they are struggling with an early riser or a picky eater or some other frustrating phase - it'll change! 

Of course the flip side of this "great reminder" is what I am mourning right now.  What if you don't want it to change?  Wyatt is sleeping in lately, great about naps and eats like a man.  Sadness to know it won't stay that way......wish he was more like Southern California (isn't the weather pretty consistent there?)

And because we are talking about napping......here is what my little man looks like when he gets up!  Check out that hairstyle!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Product (Food) Review: McRib

....more like the McROB me of 3 dollars.  Today after seeing all the hype on TV commercials of the McRib, I decided to run thru McDonald's and give it a try.

I am not a "real meat" snob.  I eat McNuggets and LOVE them, but I can truthfully not say that the "meat" that is used for the faux ribs is even edible.  They try to mask it on a fairly tasty bun with lots of bbq sauce, pickles and onions (note: I left off the onions). I was so disappointed. I should have just gone thru the Cousin's drive thru to get a bbq sandiwch.

The only saving grace of my meal.....the fries - can't beat McDonald's fries!

I give the McRib sandwich a C+.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Walking

So this video is a week old and also sideways (I am an idiot and need to learn how to use my FlipVideo) but you can see Wyatt is getting the hang of walking. 

He has gotten so much better since this video was made!  I bet he'll be walking pretty good by Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

That One Thing

Okay, so I'll just say that I feel like I a super competent mom.  I think I am on my game about what I need to be working with Wyatt on and thinking ahead about transitions (bottle to sippy cup, using silverware,etc).  I have always felt like a good Mommy....until this weekend.

We took Wyatt in to the doctor's office as he has had a cold and we wanted to get his ears checked - no infection thank goodness.  BUT, in passing when the doc was looking at his throat he said "there are two big teeth! we are brushing those, right?" and was about to continue on when I looked at him dumbly and said "no, I completely forgot about that!".  Note...usually I am much better at the "oh yeah, of course" save and the the scramble later to correct things, but I was just so dumbfounded. 

So, there you have it. The one thing I have COMPLETELY blanked on in the last 10 months.  I was almost too embarrassed to write a blog on it, but I figured every mom has these moments and I will have more in the future.  I am just glad that we caught my failing his dental hygiene early...wouldn't want him to have to sport a grill to kindergarten after all.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Product Review: Robeez Organic Socks

A couple months ago babysteals.com had some Robeez socks on sale and I purchased a couple packs.  Man, am I glad I did.  Wyatt has small potato feet which socks NEVER stay on.  But these socks have a trick!  There is a little bit of elastic right about the foot (on the lower ankle) so they won't start sliding down his foot like most socks. 

I give Robeez Organic Socks an A-Would be higher, but they don't make them with skid-proof on the bottom...easier to wear with shoes, but a little dangerous on our hardwood floors.