Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The FroYo Rundown

While I can't speak for the rest of the nation, I can tell you that frozen yogurt shops are all the rage in our North Texas neck of the woods.  Auntie's friend, Darrah, first introduced our family to the delights of FroYo...and we are so glad that she did!

Here is Mommy's quick review of the four Metroplex FroYo shops she has visited so far.

Grade: A+
Yogurt Land was the first frozen yogurt shop Mommy  ever stepped foot in...and she loves it!  The atmosphere is modernish, yet colorful.  Their frozen yogurt selection is the most extensive of any of the FroYo shops on this list, and they are consistently rated among the best FroYo shops in the Dallas area. 

Yogurt Walki
Grade: B-
When Mommy and Daddy first checked out Yogurt Walki, it was housed in a shopping strip in Arlington.  It has since moved to the Parks Mall, which is part of the reason Mommy graded it down.  The small yogurt selection, coupled with the over indulgent mall atmosphere, make Yogurt Walki Mommy's last choice for a FroYo fix.

Grade: B
While this shop is admittedly the "coolest" of all the FroYo shops we've hit up it is in no way the "funnest".  Mommy is pretty sure that is because you don't get to create your own concoction here.  The yogurt is tasty, but she thinks the experience is really lacking.  The decor was also a little too sterile for Mommy's liking.

Peach Berry
Grade: A
Peach Berry is a super yum shop and it's super close to our house.  The yogurt selection is a bit smaller than what you'll find at Yogurt Land, but the topping selection is just as extensive...and it is certainly no less yummy!  Peach Berry also has the most friendly staff of all the FroYo shops we've tried out.

Mommy has not had the privelege of hitting up Cassie's Frozen Yogurt yet, but she thought she should mention it since it's Darrah's favorite.  The selection of yogurt and weekly themed decor make Cassie's a great FroYo choice.

That's Mommy's two cents. 
What about you?  Are you a FroYoer?  Any Dallasites out there have other shops to recommend?  Mommy promises to be diligent and give them a try.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hello, Again!

Since I haven't posted in a whole three days, you may be wondering what I've been up to.  Well, here's a little glimpse:

I took a girls' trip to Lubbok with Mommy, Mimi, and Auntie.  We traveled to Texas' windy city to spend some time with "Aunt" Brandi, Karsyn, and Staci.

While we were there, I decided to nab me a double ear infection...

and three relatively sleepless nights.

On the way home, I though it'd be nice if I broke out with blisters on my feet...

that turn out to be Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.

Yesiree!  I have been one busy little girl.  And Mommy has been one tired little Mommy.

But at least we got some super cutie pics while we were in Lubbock. 

By the way, Mommy would like the record to show that she feels terrible for having me around baby Karsyn while I was so sick.  If she had know that I had HFMD she never would have taken me to see her.  We are praying that Karsyn doesn't get sick, too.

Friday, June 25, 2010

How to Keep a Toddler Happy When it's Stinkin' Hot Outside

This week's Show Us Your Life theme is Kid's Activities.  Seeing as Texas summers have a tendency to be unbearably hot, I thought that I'd share some of my favorite activities for 100 degree weather.  Mommy suggested that I also included the amount of time each activity kept me know, in case other mommies out there are in need of a few time killers!

1.  Paint with Pudding
Duration: 30 minutes, including post-pudding bath

Chocolate pudding doubles as a great first finger paint.  And it doesn't taste too bad, either!
Just make sure you get nakified before putting your artistic skills to work.  Or your mommy will have a laundry nightmare on her hands!

2.  Turn Household Items into Toys
Duration: 15 minutes
Normally, these cooking utensils stay on top of the kitchen counter and I don't even give them a second glance.  On one particularly hot day this week, though, Mommy put them down on the floor and told me I could play with them.  Those tools kept me occupied for a good 15 minutes (an eternity to a toddler, you know)...which Mommy considered to be well worth the time it took her to throw them all in the dishwasher once I was finished.

3.  Bring Water Play Indoors
Duration: 30 minutes
Mommy got this idea from her friend, Kelly.  She filled a storage tub with water, put it on top of a towel, and let me have at it.  I looooved this activity!

4. Get Outside Early
Duration: 20-60 minutes
Mommy knows she can't keep me inside all day long, so she tries to make sure we get out before the heat becomes blistering.  Usually, that just means we play in our backyard right after breakfast.  If I'm really lucky, though, it means we hit up a local splash pad as soon as it opens at 10:00 am.  Getting there early means Mommy can pick a spot in the shade and I can wear myself out before nap time.

If you have (or used to have) a toddler, what activities do you rely on to beat the summer-time heat?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

We Are Famous!

Well, maybe that's a bit of a stretch.  It sure does feel that way, though, because my birthday pary is featured on Tip Junkie this week.  Along with 31 other parties that are all super maybe we're just 1/31 famous.

If you ever plan on throwing a birthday party, or doing anything creative for that matter, make sure you check out  It's muy fabulouso!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Beginner's Guide to Camping with a Toddler

When Daddy told Mommy that he would like to take me camping, her initial response was, "(pause) (pause) (pause) I really don't want to do that."  Once she realized how important it was to Daddy, though, she decided that she should deal with her toddler-camping fears and anxieties and get herself prepped for a fabulous weekend outdoors.
So, here's what Mommy learned through the wisdom of others and our own experiences.

1.  Decide on a sleeping arrangement that will work for your kiddo.
This was my sleeping set up

and this was Cousin Micah's setup.
Micah's little mini tent is called a KidCo PeaPod.  It's great for travel!

2.  Stay close to home.
The campsite that Uncle Brian and Aunt Becky chose was only 10 minutes away from their house.  It gave Mommy peace of mind to know that, if need be, we could pack up in the middle of the night and head to their house.

3.  Take a Bumbo.
Micah and I are both skinny minis, so we can still fit in our Bumbo chairs.  Add a tray and camping chair, and you've got yourself a great makeshift high chair.

4.  Pack lots of wet wipes.
Not these.


Mommy only had that teeny travel pack, so we sure did have to borrow lots of wipes from Aunt Becky.  They were very handy for cleaning off dirt covered hands before meals and wiping down my Bumbo tray after meals.

5.  Take a tent fan.
Micah's parents had this nifty little guy that sticks to the tent wall with two magnetic pieces (one on the inside of the tent and one on the outside).

6.  Camp in a spot that's not heavily populated.
This one may be a little harder to arrange. There was only one other group tent camping near us, and being almost the only campers really worked out in our favor.  Especially on Friday night when Micah and I both cried for an hour before falling asleep!

Those are Mommy's best tips for camping with a toddler.  Do you have any tips to add to this list?

Mommy just saw some of these same tips in her July issue of Parenting magazine.  She didn't steal them from there, though. She discovered them first hand this weekend. Promise! 

For more tips and tricks, check out We Are That Family's "Works For Me Wednesday".

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I...had...the time of my liiife!

I had this past weekend. 

"What could possibly have delighted a toddler so?" you ask.  Well, here's a hint...

Can you believe it?  Mommy and Daddy took me camping!  For two nights!

But wait...Here's the best part... 

We went camping with my Cousin Micah, Aunt Becky, and Uncle Brian!

Isn't that great?!

At this point I can hear you asking, "How does one keep a toddler entertained while camping for two nights?"

Well, that's easy. Because where we went camping there were lots of rocks to pick up (and attempt to eat),

plenty of dirt to get under your fingernails (and ruin your onesie with),

tents to play in (while holding a rock in your hand, of course),

rivers to discover (under a protective layer of sunblock and your daddy's watchful eye)

and hammocks for lounging (this mini hammock was actually at Micah's house, but Uncle Brian did bring two hammocks to our campsite).

We also swam in a big pool, Micah's little blow up pool, and Micah's little blow up pool in the river.  Oh, and we went on a bike ride, too! 

Mommy just didn't get any pictures of those activities because she was too busy enjoying herself. 

Or maybe it was because she was too busy trying to keep a toddler out of the campfire.  Hmm, I don't even remember now.

This last picture was taken in Micah's sandbox before we headed out to our campsite.  Mommy thinks it shows just how much we are starting to look like each other.   
What do you think? Can you tell we are cousins?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day Outtakes

The photos that usually get published here have been carefully chosen, cropped, and edited just a teeny bit.  Mommy takes hundreds of pictures each month, but only my favorites actually end up being seen.

Just for kicks, though, I thought I'd show you a few the not-so-great shots we ended up with yesterday while trying to take a nice Father's Day pic.

The cheese stands alone.

This is Daddy's "focused on technology" face.

Daddy was intent on getting the clicker thingy to work correctly.

Oooh, so close!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Best: Father's Day Edition

I've been looking forward to this Father's Day for a while now.  My Daddy is the best daddy a girl could ask for, so I was really excited to be able to celebrate him today.

Our church's theme for Father's Day was "Iron Men of the Lighthouse" and we honored several men who are making a lasting impact in their families, our church, and our community.  My own Poppy was honored as a "Super Dad" honor Mommy definitely believes he deserves!

The men in our church also received a challenge to not only father their own children, but to be a father to the fatherless in their communities, as well.  There are so many men in our church who are already doing just that, but I know that even more will be answering that call in the near future.

After service was over, Daddy and Poppy let me play on the drumset.  I see Preston jammin' away on this thing every week, and I finally decided to give it a try myself.
Watch out, Preston!  I just might give you a run for your drumsticks.

Once we were home, my family tried taking the obligatory holiday pic (minus Gramma and Grampa- they are with my cousin Micah this weekend). Out of 40 shots, this one (sans Mimi) was the best we could do.
Sorry, Mimi. I'm sure Poppy will use his editing skills to create a great pic of all of us!

When present time rolled around, Daddy and Poppy enjoyed checking out Mommy's makeshift wrapping paper.  Since she was fresh out of manly gift bags, Mommy decided to search through Daddy's old "Wired" magazines for images that fit their personalities.  Daddy was pretty proud of her work!

He was quite proud of my work, too.

We topped off the day with a trip to the newest frozen yogurt shop near us.  It was yum yum!  Even Daddy thought so...and he's not much of a sweets person.

Lucky for me, the other members of my family are. And they were all happy to let me indulge in a little treat.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!  You are the best Daddy in the whole wide world.  Every day, your life is teaching me about my Heavenly Father.  As I watch you, I am learning that He is loving, forgiving, and gracious.  Thank you for your example!

Friday, June 18, 2010

On September 21, 2002, Daddy asked Mommy to be his wife. Here is how it all went down (or so I've heard...I wasn't actually around then, you know):

Mommy thought that she and Daddy were meeting another couple at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden for an early evening picnic.  On the way to Fort Worth, though, the other coupled called and 'canceled'.  Mommy's proposal radar went up at that point, but Daddy made up a really good reason for the she tried to put her radar back into sleep mode.

When they arrived at the gardens, Daddy made a beeline for a woodsy, secluded area.  He said he 'remembered the spot from when his senior class took pictures' there.  Radar back up.

The blanket was spread, food was eaten, and college textbooks studied all without a hint of "the question".  Radar back down.

Then, Daddy suggested that he and Mommy take a walk through the gardens.  Radar back up.

They walked around while Daddy snapped pictures of flowers, asked a stranger to take this picture of them,
and then headed back to pick up their picnic paraphernalia when the sun began to set.  Radar back down.

When Mommy and Daddy arrived back at the picnic site, however, there were roses and candles all around the border of their picnic blanket.  In the middle of the blanket was a book Mommy had given Daddy on their first "dating anniversary".  Daddy picked up the book and read it aloud to Mommy, but the story didn't end where she expected it to.  Daddy had added several extra pages that chronicled the years that passed since the day he received the book from Mommy.

At the very end of the book, there was a heart-shaped hole with a beautiful ring placed inside.  Daddy got down on one knee, took the ring out of the book, and asked Mommy to marry him. 
As soon as Mommy said "yes", she heard whoops and hollers from the wooded area behind them.  Daddy's brother and five of his best friends had been hiding there the whole time!  They videoed* Mommy and Daddy eating dinner and reading books, staged the proposal area when they went on their walk, and patiently waited to capture the big moment on camera.

Didn't my Daddy do great?!

And the best part is that seven years after they said "I do"...

Mommy and Daddy are still in love, still in learning, and still enjoying life together!

*"Uncle" Dan did a beautiful job of editing the video and interviewing Mommy and Daddy to create a documentary style movie for the wedding reception.  And I would gladly show you the movie...if it weren't still on VHS.  I'll have to ask Daddy to work on that one for me!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Not So Mad Hatter

After I went to bed last night, Mommy and Daddy watched Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland

Mommy was prepared to be way creeped out, and perhaps even leave the room (because she doesn't do well with creepiness), but instead found herself pleasantly suprised by how much she liked it. 

She was especially enthralled with Johnny Depp's version of the Mad Hatter.

Which might have influenced her decision to try almost all of my old hats on me this afternoon.... 

Even though they probably aren't up to Hatter's millinery standards.

Except for this one.  Mommy thinks he would approve of this smocked bonnet.