Currently – The Fort Worth Edition

Y’all, I had a GREAT trip with Hubby this past weekend, but I am glad to be home! I’ve got pictures to share and stories, too, so I’m linking up and doing a Currently about it all! Here goes…currently button

Thankful for || my parents! They came all the way up here for the long weekend to keep our three crazy babes, so that we could have a lovely, kid-free weekend. They are the BEST!

Traveling || to Fort Worth, Texas for Hubby’s cousin’s wedding! It was a great excuse to have a lovely weekend away, see his fun family, witness a sweet couple’s vows, and party! It also happened to be the weekend of my 30th birthday, so we did a little extra celebrating!

I had to take a picture of the plane for my kids!

Eating || Tex-Mex and Texas Barbecue! We had our first Texan meal at Riscky’s Barbecue, right across the street from our hotel. It was delicious – we went with pork ribs and brisket tacos!


The rehearsal dinner that night was at
Los Vaqueros in a neighborhood called the Stockyards. YUM. That’s all. Yum. Oh wait… and also margaritas. Saturday was Terra Mediterranean Grill for lunch (we always love Mediterranean food) and dinner of course at the wedding.      
Sunday was my birthday, and I wanted a big breakfast, so Hubby sought out the Ol’ South Pancake House. Definitely DELICIOUS and obviously a Fort Worth landmark.

This was called a Southern Skillet. Best ever.

Exploring || Downtown FW. We stayed mostly in the same area for the weekend, straying a couple of times to different neighborhoods, but we really loved the downtown. It was very obviously family-friendly (Santa was in the middle of Sundance Square!) and kept up very well. Locals said that it’s only gotten as nice as it is in the past 15 years or so, but it’s beautiful now. It also helped that everything was decked out for Christmas! There are fun shops, great restaurants, cafes, nice hotels, and more. We didn’t have to look very hard for things to do!

I didn’t remember until I saw this, but JFK spent his last night in Fort Worth.
In Sundance Square…
GIANT TREE. And it was real!  
The Water Gardens were really neat… and I wish we had seen them at night, also. They apparently light up!


Enjoying || being home and back with our kiddos! It was great going away for a weekend, but also great to come home!

Join us – what have you been up to currently?

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Pickings might be a bit slim this week, since Hubby and I spent three days (THREE DAYS?!) away from the babes, but I’ve given you everything I’ve got! More about our trip is coming! 🙂 Enjoy!

EK: Is my birthday in April?
Me: Yep! It’s in about five months.
EK: Will I be four?
Me: Yep!
EK: And then I’ll be five?
Me: Yep!
EK: How many are you?
Me: In a few days, I’ll be thirty.
EK: After five, will I be thirty?
Me: After five and six and a lot more, you’ll be thirty.
EK: YAY!
I’m just glad she’s excited about it. It makes me feel a little less old!

J, as Annie left: Anniiiiiiiie! I love youuuuuuu!
Me, Annie: *melting*

Ek doing some crafting
Hubby: Did you make that?!
EK: Yep!
Hubby: Get out of town, Charlie Brown!
EK: I not Charlie Brown!

More Christmas misnomers:
Christmas Tree=Christmas lights (J)
Christmas Sweater=Christmas Weather (J)
Peppermints=Purplemints (EK)
Hot Chocolate=Hot Chwockit (J)

Me, to EK in the other room: Whatcha doing?
EK: Cleaning the floor.
Me, looking to see her with a mop and a spray bottle of (thank goodness) Method: Whelp, you are, aren’t you?
EK: Rubby, dub, bub!

Next week I’m sure I’ll be back to the normal amount, but these should tide us all over. What are you kids saying these days? Any Christmas-related funnies?15

5 Reasons Parenting My Threenager Is Exhausting

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

 

My threenager is amazing. She’s smart, compassionate, curious, kind, and surprisingly intuitive. She’s also stubborn, opinionated, extremely bold, and ridiculously energetic. Honestly, I think those are all good qualities to have, especially as a female. (And the strong women of the world applauded.) But sometimes, as her mother and the person who spends the most time with her, I get exhausted by her inexhaustible nature. Here are a few reasons why.

She Has So Many Questions. Asking questions is good. It’s how we learn and grow. However, when I’ve been asked 57 questions before I’ve uttered one word and I’m still in the bed, it wears on me. My threenager also has this knack for not hearing the answer to a question she asking, and therefore asks it again, and again, and again. This is a special kind of hell for a mom.

She Hates Bedtime. She doesn’t necessarily hate the process, or even the idea of laying in bed and snuggling her blanket and animals. What she hates is the going to sleep part. She thinks she’s missing something – even if what she’s missing is my brushing my teeth and heading to bed. She often gets up multiple times, wanders the house, and has endless energy she didn’t have when I asked her to put away her toys.

She Is a Fast Talker. She knows what she wants, and she goes for it. It doesn’t matter what Mom says… she will find a way to get what she wants. She’s already figured out that if she can get to Daddy quick enough, he might not know to say no. She will climb, run, and beg to get whatever it is she wants. When she’s a young adult, I’m going to be proud of these very qualities, but right now, it can be frustrating.

She Is Dramatic. The girl could win an Oscar.  Reason #1 (of a thousand) we don’t watch Calliou is she already knows how to whine. She does it even when she doesn’t need to, and frequently incorporates a classic eye roll/angsty sigh combo. The speed at which a situation escalates is record-breaking, and usually has to do with her little brother.

And finally…

She Knows Everything. That’s why we call them threenagers, right? They think they know what they need AND what everyone else needs. I’m just praying we have a break from it before she hits middle school.

Why I Decided To Stop Breastfeeding (And You Can, Too)

Breast is best. Did you know? Breast is best. Everyone tells you that. If you don’t know that, you must be totally secluded from women or parents or doctors.

But if you ask me, sometimes, breast isn’t always best.

There. I said it. For me, breastfeeding has been difficult. I have three children, and I have breastfed all of them for various amounts of time. Two nursed only a few weeks, and the rest of the time were fed with bottles of expressed milk or formula. My middle child managed to nurse for 8 months (an incredible accomplishment for both of us), and even though I was also pumping, my supply wasn’t enough for that to be his only nourishment.

I’ve taken supplements, consumed my weight in water, eaten healthfully and plentifully, done everything I could to keep my supply up… It’s just never worked. For me, no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t keep up with my hungry babies. And in my household, a hungry baby made for an angry baby, which made for stressed mom, which made for upset dad, and very little sleep for all of us. Our sanity was going out the window, so we threw “Breast is best” to the wind, and supplemented with formula. Our babies grew and grew, were happier and happier, are rarely sick and the most fun and intelligent kiddos I know.

Just this week, as my youngest turned four months old, I had a difficult conversation with Hubby. “I’m tired,” I said tearfully. “I’m stressed, and I want those two hours of my day back.” Those two hours I spend pumping. Those were two hours that I could be spending time with my children, writing, reading, showering, folding laundry, or SLEEPING were always sacrificed to the milk machine. I slaved at the pump to get less than three bottles a day for my little guy (who eats like a horse – what will I do when he’s a teenager?!) when I could be feeding him formula and actually playing with him during those times. Instead, my free moments while the kids were asleep, at school, or playing with Daddy were spent in my room getting a few ounces of what everyone told me was the best thing for my child.

So I stopped.

I stopped my supplements. I stopped charting my water intake. I stopped stressing about a schedule. I weaned myself off the pump.

Y’all, it feels great. I’ve gotten more sleep, spent more time with Hubby and the kids, and I’m less stressed about how I’m going to plan those hours into my day. Breast was only best for so long… and then it wasn’t anymore. Don’t crack under the pressure if it’s not working for you. I’m not staying don’t try – you absolutely should give it a shot. For so many, it is the best. But if it’s not, that’s okay. You’re not broken and neither is your child. There are other ways to nourish them, and certainly other ways to bond with them. You do you, mamas, however it works. That is the best.

Things Toddlers Say

Hey y’all! Happy Tuesday 🙂 I hope you’ve been having a great time with parties, decorations, shopping and celebrating the season! I know that we are having a great time experiencing the magic of Christmas with our young sets of eyes! Here are this week’s funnies! 

 EK, getting in push up position: 22, Mom?

EK: I wanna hold your hand!
Me: Okay! I love holding hands!
EK: Your hand is like, comfy, Mom!
Me: Aw thanks! That makes me feel good.
EK: It makes your heart happy? And heart sing?

EK, holding a phone: I’m checking my a-mail!

J, very tired at dinner: I need you carry me now.
Hubby: Do you want to get in your jammies?
J: Yeah. And panties. I want da panties now.
He thinks since his sister wears them, he can too.

We’ve put responsibility on EK to be a good example for her brothers. So now, every time J does something wrong, she says, “I need to teach him not to _____.” And if she does something wrong, she says, “Joseph’s teaching me to do that!” This includes but is not limited to the following:
Spitting (at the table or anywhere)
Screaming (at the table or anywhere)
Sticking tongue out
Biting
Pushing
Not eating one’s meal

J, giggling in D’s face: You so funny, Davis!

The scariest thing my daughter has ever said to me happened the other morning while I was still in the bed…
EK: Mom, look! I painted my nails!
Me: Where?! WHERE IS IT?! WHERE ELSE IS IT?!?!

The kids have been obsessed with Inside Out. The main character Riley plays hockey, and EK has been begging to go skating. Imagine her surprise when I was putting her to bed Friday night, and telling her we would see Disney on Ice the next day…

Me: Well, tomorrow we are going to see Elsa and Anna ice skate!
EK: REALLY?!
Me: Yes! We’re going to go see lots of princesses go skating together! (Grasping at straws for how to explain something like that to a kid who’s never seen it before)
EK: Yay! What about Ariel and Cinderella?
Me (hoping it’s true): Yes, them too!

J, every time I open the car door to get him out of his seat: You scared me!

J, jumping out from behind literally everything: Boo Mommy! Boo Daddy! Boo Ella Kate! Boo Davis!

And then this happened…  J: Boo guys!
Me: Be careful, and sit down.
J: Yeah! Careful chair! (Sits down, then gets back up.)
Me: Sit down or get off the chair.
J: (runs away)
Me: Well, that’s decided.

So there you have it… our silly kids! What are you kiddos saying? What’s so funny about them?

Currently

Happy Monday! Christmas is in full swing around here. I’ve even wrapped two presents! Okay, fine. Those were for a Dirty Santa swap we did with our small group last night, but still. It counts! I’ve been spending time doing a little extra baking than usual, making holiday plans, coordinating who gets to attend which parties (why are so many of them on the same day?!) and still trying to find time for little things with just my five family members. It’s surprisingly tough. Anyway, I’m linking up today with Becky at Choose Happy and the other wonderful bloggers to talk about what we’ve been up to currently. Link up, comment, and join us!

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Wearing || all my favorite sweaters! It’s finally cold enough to wear a sweater without getting hot during the day, so I’ve busted out my favorites…

Crafting || with peppermints! I’ll post about this later when we’ve done it, but my plan is to melt peppermints (hard candy ones) inside metal cookie cutters to make ornaments! A friend had posted pictures of their (successful!) attempt at it, and I thought it looked like a cute and easy way to let the kids do a fun craft. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Playing || Heads Up! We’ve always loved this as a party game, but last night with our small group buddies, we played for over an hour! We really like it, and the fact that you can get new decks when you start repeating (and there are always updates) is really handy. It kills your cell phone battery, but it’s just so fun! We had a great time with the Act It Out category last night.  

   

Eating || Breakfast with Santa! EK was the only one that got to go (boys were at the doctor that morning) but she had a great time with her grandparents and cousins! She told Santa she just wanted candy canes. Ha! 

 Watching || Disney on Ice! We went with our sweet friends (who have kids almost the exact same ages as our three) to Greensboro to see it, and I’m so glad we did! It was almost too long… J got a little antsy towards the end, but we all made it through, and they were enthralled! 

    
 

Well, there is our family update. What’s been going on with you and yours?

Slow Down.

  
Y’all. Time is flying. Weather is cooling, decorations are twinkling, and the days go by so quickly! That could have a little bit to do with the fact that the sun is only up for ten hours, but eh… who is paying attention to that?

This season of waiting, of already and not yet has even more meaning this year. Not only are we celebrating the coming of Christ as a helpless babe, but we are also celebrating Christmas… a first christmas for D, a second for J (and likely his first in memory) and a fourth for EK (and she is all about the traditions since she remembers some things from last year). 

We also have parties, church services and gigs to plan for. This is all in addition to leaving town all of next weekend, and leaving the kids with my parents. Hubby’s cousin is getting married, and I am turning 30. It just seemed like the right time. But what will we be missing when we go?

EK remembers our advent calendar each day, and understands when we tell her something special is happening. For instance, tomorrow we have breakfast with Santa with Hubby’s family, followed by Disney on Ice with some dear friends. It makes for a busy day, but a wonderful time  for our kids. I am just as excited as they are! 

But there is some trepidation there. With our littles, it’s proven to be hard to get anywhere, much less on time. It’s hard to pack everything we need, feed everyone on time, and let everyone get their rest when they need it. I know this is a season, and a short one in the grand scheme, but I am lost in the details. 

I am struggling to not lose sight of the important things, as I cross off my to-do list, see my gift-buying list get shorter, and attend more events than I ever thought possible. How did I get so busy? Didn’t I decide to stay home so that life could be more simple? It just seems more hectic as we get closer to Christmas. 

I know I’m not the only one feeling this way… I can’t be. Others have full plates or young children or both. All parents balance their work and home lives, and try to make Christmas magical for the children. But as life gets crazier, I find myself pining for morning pajama dance parties, pb&j lunches and movie-watching evenings. I just want to relax and read Christmas stories with my family, and there doesn’t seem to be time. 

So here, in the eleventh hour, I choose to slow down. I’m not adding anything else to my full calendar, or looking for any other happenings. I want to watch Christmas movies more evenings than not. I want to drink hot chocolate. I want to drive around our neighborhood, looking for lights. I’ll unplug, bake cookies, take naps, and read those Christmas books over and over. My kids will love it, because they love slow time with us. They’re not begging to travel or go to events. They’re not asking for fancy toys and huge presents (yet, anyway). I will slow down and enjoy this magical time of twinkly lights, sugary treats, family and friends, and the baby Jesus’ birth. We all need it. We all need love and grace and hope that even in a busy, and sometimes scary world, there are good things.