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!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Back in the Saddle

I am sorry the last few posts have been debbie-downers.  On to happier things!!

I am a planner.  I like living by a calendar but have gotten off routine lately and that has me all out of sorts.  I lost my focus for a bit....the focus being Wyatt and Abigail. 

Before children, when I worked outside the home, all house chores were done in the evenings and weekends. So now I have changed careers, the hours I used to spend "tax accounting" are now traded for "mommying".  And my kiddos MORE than deserve at least 8 hours of my focus each day.  Being at home means I can do some house chores during the day, but if  I don't clean the house thoroughly or do 5 loads of laundry, it is okay - I found a way to do it in the "off hours" with my old job, it can wait until the off hours again (although they are much fewer now in my current job).

Instead of a schedule by time, I decided that I should instead make a list that focuses on the things that should happen during the day. 

1. Breakfast, lunch, snacks (healthier, stop doing the drive-thrus so much, I have to sit down and eat too, not frantically do housework while they eat).
2. Naps (preferably to coincide, so #10 can happen)
3. Outside Time (fresh air is good for everyone - now that I am on some stronger meds the Cedar can't get to me!!)
4. Outing outside the house
5. Independent Play (Wyatt is a pro.  Abigail is failing miserably - 2nd child syndrome?)
6. One load of laundry (I am actually limiting myself here - I feel like I run the washer/dryer ALL DAY).
7. One cleaning item (one bathroom cleaned, one room dusted, vacuuming the main house, all the sheets changed, etc).
8. Organized activity/craft with both (Really going to have to research this and figure some out that are possible for both ages - suggestions anyone?).
9.  Learning activity for Wyatt (working on letters/numbers)
10. Mommy "me" time (coincides with #2 - sit my butt on the couch, eat a pickle and catch up on my TiVo)
11. Mommy "business" time (bills, emails, house stuff, etc)

The above to me is a full and balanced day.  When I start to lose focus, want to just throw the kids in front of the TV because they aren't playing well, or get obsessed about something in the house that needs to be cleaned/organized, I can go back to the list and if we should be doing one of our daily items instead. I didn't put things like read books or normal playtime on my list as those are givens. 

Not on the list but changes I am going to work on:

 - I am going to wake up to an alarm in the mornings, shower and get dressed (hopefully before the kids get up - instead of them being my alarm clock like I have been doing lately)
 - Even if we might not have big plans to leave the house, we will all be dressed in actual clothes after breakfast (sorry to my husband for seeing me in pajamas so much lately).
 -  I will NOT expect so much of myself where the housework is concerned (I will applaud myself for the small things I get done and also applaud myself for letting things go).
 -  I WILL remember that my first priority and main job during the day is WYATT AND ABIGAIL.

I think this is going to really benefit the kids - I used to spend all Monday trying to get the laundry done (constantly frustrated when it didn't happen) and Fridays were our fun relaxing day and maybe we will morph back to more of that schedule as Abigail gets older and they play better, but for now we needed to try something different so I will let you know how it goes. I am sure I will have days I fall into my old ways.

Any tips, fellow mommies out there, about schedules? What about activities for a 3 year old and 1 year old?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

SAHM Blues

So, as I wrote yesterday, I have felt a bit bummed with life lately.

If there is such a thing as post post post partum depression I think I was on the verge for a while. I have just been in a funk. Everyone gets a little disenchanted with their job, and being a stay at home mom, I am no different.

At times I feel like I NEVER get a break and the kids have been sick so much it is exhausting. It is the nature of the job, that it is a 24/7 career where we get some help from MDOs, preschools, a sitter or a mother/mother-in-law, but if other moms are anything like me I only call for help periodically when it is ABSOLUTELY necessary.  (READ: I actually debated about whether or not to call JB when I had started vomiting one day while having flu/virus and the kids were watching me barf in the bathroom.  I am a horribly prideful, "I'll do it myself" person - I pray a lot about this and finding a balance but it is a big struggle for me.  Definitely know it is easily one of my greatest faults.)

I am also my WORST critic. So when I don't feel like the kids are getting a full 110% good-to-go mommy it gets me down and then I start being an even more blah mommy. It happens.

So how do you get out of the mommy funk???

Well, for me I finally have to just give myself a pep talk and butt whooping. I also usually do a lot of frantic griping to JB that the house is a disaster and "since our house is not in order our lives are not in order."  So I do some good cleaning and organizing, and put pen to paper. I am a list maker - crossing things off makes me feel good. I write out to do lists for the house and most recently I have been trying to figure out a schedule for us (more on that later).

Both kids were napping at the same time the other day (picture the heaven's opening and God's divine mercy pouring down on me for 45 glorious minutes). I got an empty diaper box and started walking the house. I pulled decor off shelves that I really didn't care about and was tired of dusting (or I probably should say "not dusting"). After that I purged unworn clothes in my closet and went through my makeup drawer (if you haven't cleaned out your make up drawer in forever, it is SO enlightening and gross). Anyway, after some additional purging of Wyatt's closet junk, I felt better. My guest room is now FULL of stuff, that my friends need to come see if any of them want and then I am headed to the DE (Double Exposure - Jr League Resale Shop, if you don't have a designated donation place and are in FW I encourage you to check it out). 

What do other moms do when they get stressed? Am I the only one that cleans/organizes?

How could I be in a funk when I get to spend my days with these two precious people??

Abigail (15 months)

John Wyatt (3 years old)

Monday, February 4, 2013

February be kind to us....

Since Thanksgiving we have been constantly fighting illness. We are passing colds/viruses/etc around and just can't seem to get well. I thought maybe January would take a turn for the better, but I was wrong and in true Strong Sickness Streak style, we sent it out with a bang.

Wyatt got an earache a week and a half ago. We put him on antibiotics for the first time. Abigail started running random high fevers of 102/103. Wyatt turned into Satan's spawn and even had such an awful day at preschool that his teacher met me at the door when I arrived to pick him up. We took Wyatt off antibiotics, he returned to a normal human, had Abigail flu tested (negative) and then Wyatt started running the random high (103/104) fevers. In the middle of all this illness there were also random occurrences, like Sully havign his own tummy issues (barfing in his bed), our garage door breaking right before I had to take the kids to the doctor (trapping us so I had to call JB to come help us out of the house), and some random explosive diapers that lead to full bed strippings and lots of laundry.

I would like to say I handled all of the above mom challenges with a smile, grace and great attitude but alas, I must admit, I whined to my friends and family and got a short temper with my husband. I threw my arms in the air and have shouted "WHEN WILL THIS END!?!?! WHEN WE WILL ALL BE HEALTHY AGAIN!?!?!"

I have felt beat down, frustrated and just down-right disenchanted with my job lately and for that I feel awful. My babies feel like crud and it is not their fault and they deserve a Mommy who is giving it 110%.

Snap out of it, Emily!

*Note: any suggestions (other than living in a bubble) as to how to get up our immunity and stay well will be greatly appreciated!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Tips for the Second Time Mom

Having survived 15 months of life with two munchkins, I thought I could share some of what I have learned, as I have many friends starting to have their second baby. 

I think the first 6 months were difficult just figuring out logistics, hope these might help....

1. Car seat positions - put the baby behind you, the driver, and the facing forward toddler/older kid behind the passenger seat.  The toddler needs to see you and interact with you more. The baby can be soothed by your voice...or in our case, nothing soothes Abigail so it is a moot point.

2.  LIFO - Last in, First out.  I have seen some advertisements for these stickers you put on your car for your older kid to put their hand on while you get the baby out of the car - DUMB.  You are still relying on a kid to stay put and in a busy parking lot, I just don't trust them.  Take the baby out first, put them in the stroller or on your hip, or pull the whole carrier out.  Then, get out the big kid.  If you have to unstrap them still, just put the carrier on the ground against the car and lean over it to unstrap the kid.  When you return to the car, throw the big kid in first and shut the door - don't worry about strapping them in, unless the baby is in a carrier and it is easy.  I have Abigail on my hip most of the time, so I just throw Wyatt in and shut the door.  If there isn't crud in the floorboard, I just go to Abigail's side and have Wyatt crawl in there.  I strap Abigail in and although this doesn't seem super efficient, then go back and strap in Wyatt.  He will usually get in his seat and somewhat strap himself in.  This way both kids get strapped in tight and appropriately.   OH, and park next to the cart return if you aren't already in that routine.

3.  Get yourself a carrier/wrap.  Get yourself 2...or 3.  I used my Moby/Bjorn quite a bit with Wyatt but I could not have survived without it with Abigail.  I prefer sleepy wraps (like a moby but has some stretch to it) when they are little, Moby wraps as the get a little older and I am now a Boba fan.  I had a Bjorn with Wyatt and heard all the negative "crotch dangler" and hip displacement things....also, a boba is MUCH more comfortable to wear and can be used for back carry.  Abigail does well it.  A ring sling is awesome once they are "hip kids" and you just need to have them close to you for a bit (quickly running in a store that doesn't have carts), they are smaller and can be stuffed in a diaper bag if you decide you don't need it while in the store.

4.  Use the wraps out and about, not just at home - keep one in the car.  As Abigail didn't tolerate her carrier AT ALL (and still screams in her car seat), I always wore her at the grocery store/Target/everywhere.  At first I was a bit anxious and annoyed about doing it but then realized it was the BEST thing.  You actually have room for things in your cart!  When Abigail was little, I always wrapped the Moby on myself before I left the house and just rode in the car with it on.  It is so much easier than trying to get it all setup in the parking lot.

5.  Drive thru Pharmacies are your friend.  Kids get sick.  Moms get sick.  And that is just when you realize that what you thought was in your medicine cabinet isnt.  Have no fear, your neighborhood Walgreen's pharmacist is more than happy to go shopping for you while you sit in the drive thru.  I, of course, have only gone in the mornings during the week when there was no line, but they are MORE than happy to go grab you OTC stuff when you tell them you are sick and have kids in the car or sick babies you don't want to drag around the store.  I am one that is bad about not asking for help, but when I was desperate one time and went thru and asked, they said they NEVER mind and were happy to help.  I know I would do the same for someone if I worked there.  On this same note, if you are headed in to get a specific item at a store, call beforehand to verify they have it and ask when they go to check that they bring it to customer service.  I have done this at Best Buy and for a larger item at Babies R Us.  I have never gotten anything but a willing employee and was able to get in and out of the store faster.

6.  Get schedules in sync.   This is kind of impossible when you have a newborn and a toddler but as they get older, try to figure out a way to sync up naps.  Or sync up the baby's nap for when you and the older kid eat lunch so you still have time to sit down and eat.  They are second kids...they have to adapt more to the family then when the first baby was born and you fit everything around them.

7.  Fix the nasties with attention.  When Wyatt would get "the nasties"....meaning he was hanging out in time out a lot and just seemed angry, 10 minutes of one-on-one time went a LONG way and still does.  As much as I wanted to rush around the house doing chores while Abigail napped (which was very rare), I found that Abigail's morning nap was the time for me to play with Wyatt...sometimes I would get him to help me with laundry or dishes but whatever it was, it needed to be about he and I, together.  When Abigail started sleeping thru the night, we stupidly had them going to bed at the same time in the beginning - which made bedtime awful when just one parent was home.  We smarted up and made Abigail's bedtime 15-20 minutes before Wyatt's - that 15-20 minutes is specifically for playing a game or puzzle or doing something fun with him before we head to read books and go to bed.

8.  Lose the guilt.  It is  okay the older kid watches a little too much TV at the beginning.  It is okay that y'all are eating more take out dinners and PB&J's every day for lunch.  I was told that giving the gift of a sibling really is the best thing you could ever give your first child and it is SO true.  The first time you hear your littlest one call your older one by name is the sweetest most magical thing.  Or when they talk to each other in the backseat.  It is amazing and overwhelmingly wonderful.

9.  Realize that you live with them, not vice versa. You just thought your house was overtaken by toys and kid junk with the first one. HAHAHA (picture me throwing my head back and laughing a hearty laugh).  We try to do the toy rotations and keep things organized and have toy bins and toy shelves and toys cabinets, but at some point you just have to give up and realize we live with them, not vice versa.  I am working to make my bedroom my refuge and now have most all kid junk out of there (although they do have a drawer full of toys in my bathroom to occupy them when I am getting dressed). 

10.  Make things handy.  Have yourself wipes/changing stations throughout the house.  Both babes were in diapers at the beginning and I always made sure to have "stations" with diapers and wipes for both around the house - I made sure to restock them in the evenings.  PLUS, when you spot a dusty shelf, nothing better than having a handy wet wipe to do some cleaning (those things are wonderful).  Now with a potty trained (still in training really) kid we have extra undies in all bathrooms in case there are accidents.  If you are ever some place and think "wish I had this right now and didn't have to go in the other room" and it might happen again - put some in that room. 

11.  Go to the older kid first.  A baby's screaming is easily remedied usually by picking them up or feeding them, etc.  They cry for 1 minute for the same thing they will cry for 5 minutes.  BUT, the older kid starts fussing AT FIRST because they want some juice, but if it goes on longer, it turns into them being angry because you didn't get them the juice fast enough and then it goes into something else.  If it is a quick fix, go to them first.  Let the baby fuss for a bit - they will be okay. 

12.  Split up the kids. Although it seems easiest to go run errands and leave both the kids at home with the hubby, take one with you. Enjoy the time with them.  JB and I have learned that it is faster (and more fun) if we have multiple errands to run on a Saturday to split them up and each take a kid. It is amazing how much the kids love being out on their own with just mommy or daddy and how much you enjoy the time with them.  Wyatt is SO fun right now and Abigail is not so tough when she is on her own. 

13.  It is just that stage of life.  My very smart husband says this to me a lot.  It is just the stage of life where our houses are a disaster, I only get to shower every other day, I watch the clock a lot, I feel frustrated, and we don't get to leave the house much by ourselves (because leaving 2 kids with a sitter or grandparents is SOOO different than leaving just 1).  But enjoy this stage.  Having a newborn and a not even 2 year was tough but fun.  Having a 3 year old and 1 year old is tough but fun. 

I am one blessed woman, that these cuties call me Momma!

Friday, January 18, 2013

PINspired - Mustard Skirt

This post is a few months late, but.....came across a mustard colored skirt this fall at Dillard's on a sale rack for about 30 bucks.  I really liked it (to be honest it is about a half size too big, but that is always the case for me and I am working on gaining weight anyway).

I had pinned some mustard skirts and denim shirts earlier at the end of summer, so I used them for inspiration.

From Emily K Designs Blog

From This Time Tomorrow Blog - did you notice her gold layered necklaces?!?!

I don't think I nailed it perfectly - this was taken at a birthday luncheon for my girlfriend, Aly (I had to cut out all my more stylish friends so they didn't show me up).  I think untucked with a belt wrapped around it and some heavy fun jewelry would really spice up the outfit - BUT, I am trying.  Trying to look not so hum drum.

mustard skirt - dillard's.....jean shirt (love the pop of pink in the color) and sweater cardigan - target