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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Wrapping up 2016 and ringing in 2017

Victory #1 from 2017 has been accomplished: we all survived the return to reality yesterday relatively unscathed! Now we shall count down the days until Christmas "break" 2017.

Because I'm certain you've all been wondering, I'm going to fill in the post-Christmas details of our lives for you. We spent our time surrounding my parents' visit doing important things like...

... grocery-shopping in our jammies (good practice for when she's in college)...

... meeting friends for a park play date and visiting our other friends that moved out to "the country"...
Mom, where are all the squirrels, roaches, and other "wildlife" we normally see in the city??

... attending a super fun "Noon Year's Eve" party for the kids, complete with donuts, a milk and cookies toast...

... poppers (the firework variety)...

... and a balloon drop at noon!

... celebrating New Year's Eve with (surprise!) the Olivers, complete with setting up the bounce house inside...

.... popping poppers (the confetti variety) before dinner...

... letting all 4 kids have a slumber party together...

... and then foolishly staying up until midnight playing Guitar Hero and Cards Against Humanity like the party animals that we are...

... and making a semi-impromptu trip to the zoo, complete with snake-petting...

... animal-watching (duh), picture-posing...

... carousel-riding, and popsicle-consuming!

Some extended time off and more importantly, time together, was just what we needed and the perfect way to bid farewell to one year and say hello to another. And considering this time last year we were kicking off potty-training, I'd say this year is already off to an infinitely more enjoyable start.

Happy 2017, my friends- make it a great one!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Things you could find me googling in 2016

Well. I think we can all agree that 2016 was a doozy. In addition to the Big Problems going on with the election drama, all the famous people dying, oh, and let's not forget terrorism and worldwide human rights violations, 2016 proved to bring challenges for our little family as well.

None of it was anything major, really- just a culmination of transitions and challenges and general life happenings that I struggled to handle and accept in a sane manner, which humbled me and eventually sent me into counseling in the Fall (thank you, God, that there are people that choose to allow strangers to unload all of their baggage on them for a living!).

Through the frustrations, there were still plenty of happy moments and I'm thankful that by the grace of God, I will likely hold onto the good memories from the year longer than the bad ones. I figured that in this day in age, the best way to recap the year was to share a few of the phrases my Google search history from 2016 might contain:

- Tips for potty training boy/girl twins

- How long does the 3-day potty training method actually take?

- How long do children continue having accidents after being potty trained?

[Do you sense a theme here?]

- Tips for dealing with contractors on home remodeling

- How long do master bathroom remodels usually take?

- What's the difference between minispread, widespread, and centerset faucets?

- How to sustain your marriage during a remodel

- What do do when your contractor is taking a sweet eternity to finish a remodel

- Tips for transitioning room-sharing twins from cribs to beds

- How to stop twins from playing together after bedtime

- How to keep children from using potty training as a bedtime stall tactic

- How to discipline a threenager two threenagers

- Do children get easier at age 4?

- How to keep children at the dinner table once they're out of booster seats

- Can I duct tape my children to their chairs during mealtime?

- Why would an otherwise healthy adult catch Hand, Foot, & Mouth disease 3 times?

- When will the oil and gas industry pick up?


- What to do when your child(ren) refuse(s) to participate in organized sports?

- What to expect with a tonsillectomy for a 3.5-year-old

2016: you put up a good fight, but you did not defeat us. 2017: bring it on... we're ready for you!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas 2016

I know I'm not alone when I say that I'm currently stuck in that vortex between Christmas and New Year's Eve where I have no concept of what day it is or what I'm supposed to be doing. Nonetheless, I can't let the week pass without recapping the wonderful chaos that was our 2016 Christmas.

We kicked off the celebrating so many weeks ago I've lost count on Christmas Eve Eve. After the twins' got home from school, we made cookies for Santa and assembled reindeer food so that Rudolph and his friends wouldn't feel left out. 

Then we headed out to look at neighborhood lights with the Olivers in the brisk 75-degree weather, where the highlight for Colby was seeing a dead duck in someone's yard... boys are neat.

We kicked off Christmas Eve with breakfast and present-exchanging with the Olivers, which was a few new tradition that I hope we can continue!

Couldn't love these 4 cuties anymore if I tried!

I'm not motivated enough to turn this picture upside down, but trust me when I say she was really excited about these princesses

Ditto on this guy's love for his new remote-controlled BB-8

We spent the rest of Christmas Eve with Brian's family, complete with endless snacks, early gifts for the twins, a "made in America" gift exchange, and of course, countless attempts at pictures thanks to my always patient SIL!

My two favorite guys in matching shirts

Love these sillies

How cute is she??

And how handsome is he?? (Sorry, I can't help myself.)

After getting the twins in their jammies (and forcing another picture), we headed home to take care of the Christmas Eve necessities: sprinkling reindeer food on the lawn, setting out cookies for Santa and carrots (also for those spoiled reindeer), read about baby Jesus being born, and set up our camera to capture Santa in action.

Christmas morning with the twins went about as well as we could have hoped! They were so excited about their goodies from Santa, and since this was our first time since they were born (in our entire marriage, actually) to wake up at our own house on Christmas, we were able to take it easy and move at our own pace.

Finding their elf, Jingle Bells, one final time!

We eventually changed out of our jammies and headed over to Brian's parents' house to open more presents (we were so spoiled, as always!) and spend the day with his extended family. 

Brian enjoying his new virtual reality glasses

Group selfie, thanks to Shannon's selfie stick!

Brian and I spent the evening trying to make room for all of the new STUFF while the twins bounced off the walls in their room for a solid two hours after bedtime. I wouldn't say it was a calm and peaceful Christmas ending, but a typical one at least :)

My parents came to visit for the next couple of days after Christmas, where we were showered with more generous gifts (and food)! I guess I was tired of picture-taking because I don't have much to document our time together besides this shot of the cousins before opening their presents from Franny & Pop Pop:

So yes, it was a very merry Christmas (marathon) indeed- hope yours were equally merry!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Colby & Clara-isms: Christmas edition

I know I wrote one of these posts just last month, but the twins have said and done so many amusing things surrounding Christmas that I had to compile another list to share:

When we started listening to Christmas music, there was about a one-week period where the only Christmas song Colby would allow us to play in the car without protesting was "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"... by Weezer. Not quite the Amy Grant-esque Christmas tune I'm used to! (Relatedly, he is convinced the lyrics actually say, "We wish you a very Christmas.")

Clara, while attempting to quote Santa: Ha ha ha, happy birthday! (Instead of "ho ho ho, merry Christmas")

The twins have a Fisher Price nativity set and Colby keeps referring to it as the "new-tivity."

Clara, while roaming the aisles of Target with me: Do you want to get a present for baby Jesus for his birthday?
Me: Like what?
Clara: Hmm... maybe a Transformer or a princess??

When the twins first saw the Christmas decorations around the house, Colby noticed this holly berry tree and exclaimed, "Mommy, I love your apple mountain!"

Our sweet neighbors gave Clara this toy, and every time we refer to it as a snowman, she corrects us sternly and insists that it's a bird.

Remember how Colby has a habit of adding "y" to the end of words as a term on endearment? He recently asked if he could call "Jingle Bells" (their elf), "Jingle Belly."

When the twins watched "The Polar Express" this past weekend and the movie had ended, the twins were quiet for a moment before Colby very dryly stated, "Trains are so dangerous." So glad he found a relevant takeaway!