Friday, September 19, 2014

The summer of family

This summer was so great because we got to see so much of our families. Along with The Great Stroh Family Reunion, Mike's brother came to visit and we packed as much fun in a long weekend as we could.

This family of six stayed at our house and really, they were great house guests. I was a little worried about how it would all work out, but all the kids slept upstairs in {what we call} the big room, his brother took Maddy & Hud's room and their oldest took the office. (Ha, we call it the office, but it's more of... well, it's more of a mess.) I moved Brandt downstairs with us so I wouldn't obsess about if he was going to be woken up, and he did pretty well.

All the kids played so well together. No fighting, no fussiness, nada. They all ADORED Brandt and loved playing with him.

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The Sunday they were here, we opted to go to our ward (1 PM is much more doable when trying to get 13 people ready for church) and my kids loved having their cousins with them.

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It was also Kirsten's birthday while they were in town, so Jenny & I planned a surprise party for her. It was hilarious! So many good friends of hers came to wish her a happy birthday and there was delicious treats for everyone.

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Ha! I love this. Kirsten and Brian took all the kids to the bookstore... Little did she know she was doing us a favor by getting them out of the way so we could get the party going. When they came back, Mike hustled outside to get all the kids in the house first and when she walked in, she was definitely surprised.

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I bought candles for the cake but somehow in the two hours they were at my house, they disappeared. SO FRUSTRATING. I did the best I could! ;)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pre-K, Huddy-style

Trying to find a place for Hudson to go to preschool was a little tough. We don't have the local rec center where we live now, which stinks. BUT there were a few recommendations from people in our ward and we went with the least expensive option. (It still seems VERY expensive. But whatever.)

A couple of weeks ago, Hud & I went by to tour the place and the teachers of his class were there setting things up so he got to meet them. This proved to be very fortunate because we were out of town last week when they had their Open House.

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He's been very excited to start school. It seems like a wonderful place and the teachers are darling. I guess he forgot that he was starting today because of us traveling and everything, so we reminded him this morning and he very quickly went to get dressed and brush his teeth. We got in the car and he said "Ohhhh, I'm going to miss you guys!" We went over a few rules with him (reminding him to go to the bathroom first thing, don't let anyone in the stall with him, tell mom or dad if anyone touches his privates - to which he said, "only kids can touch privates." Ummmm, no! - and to say yes ma'am and please and thank you) and then told him it wouldn't be long before we'd be back to get him. Then he told us he was going to miss us again and I asked him if he was getting a little nervous and he said "Just a little."  ♥

When we got in there, he sat right down and started playing with his Play-doh. I cannot wait to hear how it went!!!

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Hudson is just one of the coolest kids out there.  He makes everyone smile and is the sweetest, smartest thing.

Love you buddy!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

School is {not} for fools, 1st grade edition!

Maddy's first day was great. She really liked her teacher, met a lot of new friends (two of them are named Sarah, and one of them is Sariah! Confusing! Especially because she talks so fast!), and is looking forward to having two snacks a day, per her teacher.

..........................

Fast forward to this week.

On Monday, her teacher quit.

Not sure what happened yet, there still hasn't been any communication from the school, aside from me calling them, wondering WHAT THE.

Not that it's my business what happened, I hope everything is okay. But seriously, I hope they find a new teacher soon! Right now the aide is teaching the class. Bless her.

..........................

So she started last Wednesday. She looked so cute in her uniform, I thought they were so ugly at first, but Maddy makes anything look cute. If I do say so myself.

We brought her giant bag of school supplies in with us and she was totally fine with being dropped off in this new place, all by herself. I cried when we walked out, joining all the other KINDERGARTEN mothers who were boo-hooing their way out the door. And I missed her A LOT most of the day. But Thursday was better, and by Friday, we got kind of back into the swing of things.

I know this year will be a great year!

(Assuming she gets a teacher.)

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Random thoughts from a smother-mother

Tonight, things are looking grim.

Tomorrow morning, Maddy will start first grade. Not only a new year, but a whole new school.

She seems fine with it. I'm fine with the new school - after going there for registration and meeting her teacher, things seem pretty great. But first grade?

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Does every parent go through this? I feel like a total psycho. I have enjoyed this summer so much. Have there been a couple times where I'm like, "Uh, yeah, let's go back to school!" ? OF COURSE. But overall, the kids have been a joy. They rarely fight, they play together all day, and the last three months just went by in the blink of an eye.

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(Mike took this last week. This was how we found the kids A LOT this summer.)

This summer was great. She perfected her cartwheel, figured out how to do a handstand, and became completely fearless in the water.

JUNE

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Playing with her crazy brother

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She chopped her hair off! Five inches like it was no big deal.

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She lost another tooth!

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We went to Randol Mill & she went on the big slide for the first time!

JULY

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Hanging out with her cousins was probably the best part of her summer. I found a post-it upstairs recently that said "This will be the best day of my life." Come to find out, she wrote it the day they were getting in town.

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RANGERS!!

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Diving! Let's be honest, most of them were belly-flops, but still!!

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She got to hang out with some of her best pals this summer -

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Kate & Maddy - they are such cute little friends!

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This crazy foursome! Friends since birth!

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Her & Hud got to meet their Auntie Brittany. They loved her and have asked a few times when they'll get to see her again.

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She also loved spending time with Uncle Travis

It's fine, I know. At this time tomorrow, I'll wonder what I was up fussing about. But this is my little girl! And first grade is like... the big time! I'm having some of the same fears as last year - what if someone is rude to her? What if she gets lost? What if her teacher doesn't see how amazing she is?

Maddy is really the best. I'm sure most moms think that about their kids, but geez. She's funny, sweet, a great helper, an AMAZING sister, loves everyone, is brutally honest, and is so smart. I love hanging out with her and seeing what she'll come up with. She loves good music, she loves to read, and tonight she said "The only way I'll fall asleep is if you'll lay next to me." And in an instant, she was out.

Good luck tomorrow, my sweet girl! I love you tons and tons and tons! And I'll miss you in the day! ♥

Monday, August 18, 2014

Stroh Family Reunion

Last month, my brother, dad & step-sister all came to Texas to hang out. We had plans previously to travel to California and hang out with my aunt and her family, but it didn't work out. Sooooo those who could came to us! A win-win for me, since I was freaking out at the idea of flying to San Fran and then driving to a northernmost part of the state with my beloved children. My beloved children who hate car rides.

Anyway.

Thursday night we hosted dinner at our house.

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Friday morning, those that could went shooting. So glad Ashley took pictures for me, so I could stay at home with los ninos.

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Friday night, we went to the Rangers game, but before that we enjoyed a fine feast at Mariano's.

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It was reallllly warm. I'm not sure anyone would have classified it as 'fun.'

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Some folks just can't hang.

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Saturday morning, we loaded up everything we could think of, Buck included, and went to Spence & Heather's to stay for a night. As soon as we got there, it was clear it wasn't going to work out with Buck there, so Mike had to take him all the way home. Aaaand he got stuck in traffic so he missed out on a good portion of the day.

We had so much fun in the pool! I couldn't have asked for anything more. Everyone was happy. Even my dad, The Grump. :)

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The puppies loved all the company and were soooo worn out by the end.

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Saturday night we had One. Amazing. Meal. and then spent the night chatting. After everyone went to bed, I stayed awake because of my stupid issue with Mike's snoring and general unrest.

The next morning, Heather made these uhhhhmazing apple pancakes and we lounged around the pool, playing games - including Speed (an old family favorite) - and trying to get Brandt to sleep. Such fun! :)

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Before everyone started leaving, we took some family pictures. It was hilarious. Between the extreme heat and the dogs randomly getting in the shots...

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Love my family!! Back in the day, we'd spend a week in Tahoe or in Clearlake, CA - swimming, tubing, skiing, eating Cheezits, Red Vines and eating delicious dinners provided by my dad & step-mom. (I guess I've always loved food. That's good to know.) This was kind of a throwback to that, and I loved it. My sisters are the best. They're so funny and sweet. Spence & Heather are the best hosts. Travis is... well, Travis. No matter how much time passes, he knows me as well as I know him. It's always good to see him. And my dad - well, he's my dad. And things will always be weird between us. (Not because of any one thing, just because my dad is just that way. But I'm accepting it.)

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Seven months, say what?

Didn't I just blog about Brandt being six months? Sheesh.

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Brandt mostly sleeps through the night. There were a few nights in a row last week where he thought 1 AM was party time. I wouldn't care AT ALL if I could go back to sleep, but I've had a rough time sleeping lately. Pretty lame. Thankfully Brandt does really well at nighttime.

He doesn't nap too well, still. Jerk. :)

He loves his jumperoo. LOVES.

He can't sit up all the way unassisted, but he's getting closer.

He's nowhere near crawling, at least I don't think so.

We still swaddle him for sleep. He gets out of it every time but it seems to help him go to sleep? I'm not really sure. We did the same with Hudson, so ? Ehhhh.

He rolls everywhere. All day long. It's cute. Except for when he gets stuck. :)

He eats so well! Breastfeeding is still going great, and he's taken to solid foods like a champ. He hasn't had too many fruits yet, but loves everything I've given him so far. (Sweet potatoes, avocado, carrots, squash, a tiny bit of mashed potatoes, prunes and banana)

Brandt loves drinking from a straw and right out of a cup. He also does really well with sippy cups still, which is perfect.

All of a sudden, HE HATES BATHS. Oh my goodness, I have no idea what I'm going to do with him! He loved them before, loved just being nekked or in his diaper, but FREAKS now. Poor baby. :(

As promised, a picture of Brandt's first tooth! His second one came in a couple weeks after the first. Fast and furious, I tell ya!

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(July 2014)

And a sweet picture of this monster:

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This is how most of our summer days are spent

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One day Hud shared his wristbands with his brother. This time, he put them on his legs.

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Occasionally, I do dress the baby. But some days, he stays in his pjs all day, and sometimes, I don't even do them back up after diaper changes. I would say 'oh, poor third baby,' but I did this with the others too. ;)

My baby Brandt! Time is going so quick. I just love this guy. He's not really the sweetest baby ever, you know? But he's sweet to me. He's not really that fussy, just... hard-headed? I'm not sure what the right word is. He's an interesting little guy, he's kinda hard to figure out. But we love him so much!