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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Threenaging

It's true: we are currently the proud parents of not one, but two threenagers. But it's safe to say that one of the twins is earning the title a little more than the other at the moment:

Here he is, fighting me to the death about eating those THREE roasted sweet potato pieces. He asked me to cover that one piece in ketchup, and when I obliged, he responded dryly with, "I can still see orange on it."

Allow me to share with you some other recent examples that have made my heart swell with pride...

This past week, he started telling us, "You can't tell me what to do." Oh really? Because actually we can.

Yesterday, when I asked him not to dig his fork into the table, he responded with, "I do what I want."

Also yesterday, when Brian said, "Colby, it's time to get out of the bath," he responded with, "You need to ask nicely."

Along with the sass, he has also unfortunately been hitting and BITING Clara. Thankfully (?), his threenager rage has only been directed at her so far and not at his friends/classmates, but we still aren't exactly pleased that he's made her his target (nor is she).

I keep reminding myself that it's only a phase, and, that much like I had to tell myself repeatedly in the fussy newborn days, this too shall pass. But in my weaker moments, I worry that this temperament shift is permanent and that we are failing miserably as disciplinarians and as parents. Ah, mom guilt, you're always around when I need you the most, aren't you?

Nonetheless, in order to remind myself and the world that my sweet little boy hasn't completely disappeared, I'll close with a few of the cute things he's said/done lately that haven't made my head spin in circles:

On the way to the school the other morning, he randomly asked, "Mommy, does Jesus make rainbows?" I said, "Yes, buddy, he does!" He thought for a moment and then asked, "What does he make them with?" (... at which point I asked Daddy to answer).

He refers to firefighters as "fighter fighters."

He refers to "tunnels" as "turnels" and is constantly requesting that we drive through them (basically going under an overpass).

He refers to his raft as his "kid." I have no idea why, but I love it. At the pool, he likes to put on his floaties, get inside his raft, and then proudly declare, "I'm swimming all by myself!"

He pronounces the 'l' sound with a 'w' sound, so when we ask him to say "lizards and wizards," it comes out as "wizards and wizards," but he seems sincerely convinced that he's pronouncing them as two entirely different words.

When we were visiting Dallas, it took him a while to warm back up to my older sister. At one point, he saw her sitting by my dad and asked, "Who's Pop Pop's friend?" Oh, don't worry, bud, that's just your AUNT.

Colby Wayne, you have been a bit on the challenging side lately, to put it mildly, but we sure do love you so. And also, you're really lucky that you're so cute ;)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Confessions

It's been a while since I confessed my transgressions to the internet, so it's time I remedy that:

Confession: when it started raining the other evening, we let the twins run around in it in the front yard... without any clothes on. Perhaps equally shameful is that while they did it, I joined them- not in the nude, thankfully, but rather, wearing my sorority anorak from 2001.



Confession: I still own (and apparently occasionally wear) my sorority anorak from 2001.

Confession: For some reason, I still semi-regularly get the theme song to "Fraggle Rock" stuck in my head.


Confession: Up until the recent Brexit, I thought the "United Kingdom" was basically synonymous with England... as in, I didn't realize the UK was made up of several different countries. Really living up to that INTERNATIONAL STUDIES DEGREE I earned in college.

Confession: Remember those two kid-free nights Brian and I had last week? I spent an embarrassing chunk of that time deep cleaning my hairbrushes.

Confession: It saddens me that the following is now part of my google search history:


It saddens me further that I am earnestly trying to memorize the lyrics. BUT, in my defense, I'm only doing so in order to comply with Clara's regular requests for us to sing this at bedtime.


Anything you care to confess today??



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Important* thoughts

*Not necessarily true

Phew, now that the catch-up posts are finished and we've all had some time to catch our breath from those riveting updates, let's move on to more important issues:

1. I need recommendations for a facial moisturizer. I've been using this one from Neutrogena for the past several months:



... but the most recent bottle I bought smells like nose bleeds (strange metallic smell, if you're wondering what that smell is like). It's so bad that I submitted a complaint on their website, but it's not so bad that I've stopped using it because yes, I am that averse to wasting things, especially things I spent money on.

So if you have any great recommendations that (a) work well, (b) aren't super expensive, and (c) don't smell like nose bleeds, please do share.

2. I'm eating this avocado egg salad for lunch this week and highly recommend it. Full disclosure: I did not use curry or fenugreek powder, so I can't vouch for how either would impact the taste.


3. Our beloved Summer Infant video baby monitor broke last week. Though we now have a functioning replacement ($190 later...), the whole thing ended up being a bit of ordeal and I thought it would be beneficial to share with you some of the things I learned:
   (1) The Summer Infant brand has crappy customer service. They also have no interest in being helpful when you have a discontinued model. And lastly, their cameras only work with one corresponding type of model, so if you ever have to replace one, you have to replace the other.

   (2) Do not use the website bonanza.com, unless you are ok with paying for an item and then being shipped a different item including a sloppily handwritten note that says, "I ran out of [model you ordered] but this is a good set. No wifi. Thanks."

   (3) An appropriate manner to cope with your frustration with the replacement process is not to lock yourself in your bedroom and declare that you hate everyone and everything. (Let's just say this did not come at the right time of the month.)

4. In happier news, the twins spent a couple of nights with Brian's parents last week and we got a mini-break as a result! While they were busy having fun with/exhausting Mimi and Granddaddy, we participated in exciting activities such as:
- eating dinner out on a weeknight AFTER 7 pm
- going on a triple date, complete with Mexican food, s'mores, and a round of Cards Against Humanity
- staying up to watch Late Night with Jimmy Fallon live for the first time ever (...ok, staying up to watch the first 30 minutes of Late Night)
- "sleeping in" until 7:45 am, going for a walk at the park, and eating breakfast out

C&C treating Granddaddy like their personal entertainment/jungle gym

5. There's no real purpose in sharing this picture, but it's my right as a mommy blogger to needlessly share pictures of my children, so enjoy:

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Catching up, Part 3 (Stay-cation edition)

Back when we were making plans to go to Dallas for the 4th, we decided it would be fun to take the rest of the week off since we don't have any big trips planned for the year and both of us had enough vacation days to spare. And while I wouldn't say we had a restful and relaxing week off, we sure did have a fun and full one!

The fun started on Tuesday when we made a quick stop in College Station on our way back from Dallas. (In my mind, I had imagined that this would break the drive up into two equal parts, but given that College Station is much closer to Sugar Land, that was not so much the case. So basically the first part of our drive lasted a sweet eternity, complete with plenty of whining and a few potty stops.)

We started with lunch at Blue Baker, swung by my old sorority house to show Clara where she will live one day ;), and then made our way to campus (no easy feat considering how much it has changed!). We walked around the MSC, showed them Kyle Field from afar, and then quickly toured Rudder Fountain, the Academic Building, and the Century Tree. As I mentioned on facebook, Colby was apparently so impressed that he randomly ran up to two separate trash cans and kissed them. And then Clara copied him because #twins.

See that "gig 'em" Colby is sporting? Not even intentional- just in his blood!





Technically you're supposed to end up marrying someone if you walk under the Century Tree with that person, but we have a firm anti-incest rule at our house, so this one doesn't count.

We headed back home from there, did 734 loads of laundry, and collapsed in exhaustion from our travels. Not to worry, though, because on Wednesday, we were up and ready for the adventure of the day: visiting the new Fort Bend Children's Discovery Center! To sum, the kids enjoyed themselves but I did think it was (a) crowded, and (b) geared more towards kids that are slightly older. Highlights for Colby were the stationary train at the front and the pretend ambulance (... complete with dummy/mannequin that totally creeped me out.) Highlights for Clara were the pretend grocery store and restaurant, where she kindly served me a bowl with 6 eggs in it for "lunch."


Cruising around Vietnam

Giving the kitty her check-up

See the dummy in the background? Creepy, right?



After dragging Colby out of the museum (literally) kicking and screaming, we headed up to rest for a bit before taking dinner/inviting ourselves to play at our friends' new house that they just moved into. No pictures, sadly, but a rare weeknight activity for us, to worth documenting nonetheless!

On Thursday, we hit the road bright and early(ish) for the one-hour drive to Galveston to check out Moody Gardens. Brian and I got day passes (the twins got in for free) so we were able to do all the things, and 6 hours later, we pretty much did!

First stop was "Palm Beach" which is not a real beach, but infinitely more pleasant than the real one nearby. We frolicked around the lazy river, splash pad, and wave pool before touring the rainforest pyramid (which was as humid as you would imagine). After a stop for lunch, we watched a 3D movie about Africa, toured the aquarium, grabbed some ice cream, watched a 4D movie about "Ice Age, and then took one last group selfie before heading back home. 

Colby is really into smiling for the camera these days, as you can tell.

Colby's favorite toy




They had some kind of "Christmas in July" thing going on and the random Christmas trees set up around the property made me so happy! Also, to answer your question, yes, I spent the day at Moody Gardens with no clothes on.

This ginormous seal's name was Dino and the twins loved him!




Too tired for another picture, but somehow NOT TIRED ENOUGH TO NAP FOR EVEN ONE SECOND ON THE CAR RIDE HOME. Seriously, how is that possible?

On Friday morning, we pretended to be stay-at-home parents and joined Allison and a couple of her pals for a play date at one of the nearby splash pads. The twins loved it (way more than when we checked it out last year) and as a bonus, I didn't have to put on a swimsuit again. Also as a bonus, there was a newly installed mini-zip line next to the splash pad for them to try out (again and again and again and again).






We finished off the day playing (some more) with our cousins, complete with Clara showing off the moves one of her friends taught her that she excited to show off when she takes dance class in the Fall ;) 


On Saturday, the twins took a trip to Dunkin' Donuts with Daddy (while I cleaned at home, because mom life is the most fun life) and then we joined some friends for an impromptu visit to the aquatic center near their house (pool, lazy river, splash pad, and water slides... way cooler than our neighborhood pool). At this point, I would not be surprised if the twins have convinced themselves that every day going forward will involve some sort of outdoor water activity. 


 
We ended the week of fun that evening the only way we know how: more eating (Mexican food!) and more hanging out with the Olivers. You're all shocked, I know.

(I'm actually writing this on Saturday night, so it's highly possible that a lot of fun and exciting things happened on Sunday, but for the sake of brevity- ha!- I'll end with Saturday as the traditional last day of the week).

So yeah, I wouldn't say we ended our time off in a restful state, but I will say that for me, personally, spending all of that uninterrupted time together with the people I love the most was the perfect way to recharge my batteries... and hopefully it was enough to hold me over for 5 months until our next extended break when the holidays roll around!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Catching up, Part 2 (4th of July weekend edition)

So as I mentioned in the last post, after much anticipation leading up to our trip to Dallas, we were all ready to hit the road on Saturday morning. This was actually our first lengthy car trip with the twins since potty training started and I was relieved that there were no accidents or sudden/urgent needs to go while we were in the middle of nowhere. And also, thank you, God, for bestowing upon us the ability to watch movies in the car.

Once we arrived, we spent our first day in Dallas eating, playing, making giant messes at Franny and Pop Pop's house, and generally embracing the chaos of having 6 adults and 4 children under one roof. 

Partaking in the first of many desserts

Had to bring along some of his new toys, of course

Naptime with Pop Pop: spoiler alert- Pop Pop was the only one that ended up napping

Bedtime stories with Pop Pop

This was cute and all, but proved not to be very conducive to actual sleeping, unfortunately!

On Sunday, we took a walk to get donuts, had lunch with all the cousins, saw Finding Dory (again), played outside, and then prayed for the children to actually go to sleep. Once we had them on lockdown in toddler jail, conversation turned to the topic of dessert (shocking, right?) and we learned that my dad had somehow NEVER consumed a DQ blizzard. I know what you're thinking: what kind of neglectful daughter am I?! We rectified that quickly and through a comical series of events with a less-than-capable cashier, we came home with NINE different desserts. Excessive, maybe, but not the most terrible problem to have.

The cover for our next album (please note Brian's pose)

Frosted donuts with sprinkles for all! (and once again, please note the various toys that had to accompany us on our outing)

Lunch at one of our regular childhood spots: New York Sub

All 8 cousins from biggest to littlest (award for grouchiest goes to Colby, as you can see)

Franny escorting the girls into Northpark, aka: her second home

This pool fun sadly only lasted for a few minutes as the phrase, "DO NOT GET OUT OF THE POOL AGAIN OR YOU WILL HAVE TO GO INSIDE!" is apparently not clear enough.

Pardon the weird lighting (and my yellow tongue), but this obviously had to be documented!

We awoke to thunderstorms on Monday morning and were all fretting a little about how it would impact our Independence Day plans, but thankfully, the rain stopped before parade time and despite muggy weather and my son's inability to avoid mud and dirty puddles, the morning got off to a great start. We all had fun watching the floats and I don't even have to tell you about how the kids felt about having tons of free candy thrown their way. (And relatedly, if you're in the market for dum dums, come on by because we still have about 900 of them.)


Love their enthusiasm in this one!

It was imperative that the dinosaur got a good spot for viewing the parade.

The littlest girl cousins with the biggest girl cousin (Emma, who has somehow learned how to time travel and is ELEVEN YEARS OLD NOW. Sob.)

Parade watching

Candy collecting

Franny & Pop Pop with all 8 of the grandlittles!

We've taken better pictures, but oh well.

After lunch with the whole fam, we spent the afternoon playing at the house and prepping for company to come over for dinner. At this point, the lack of quality sleep situation was clearly wearing on Clara and around 4 pm, she pitifully requested a nap and went right to sleep (without any companions). 

Everyone came over for dinner around 5, and though I have no pictures to document the occasion, I can assure you it was fun despite the chaos. I can also assure you that I gained at least 3 pounds during this meal, consisting of 1/3 part fritos, 1/3 part tortilla chips, and 1/3 part M&Ms (#nutritiongoals). By the time everyone left around 7:30, the kids were completely wound up, so we figured we'd take advantage of their extra energy and attempt keeping them up for fireworks.

Colby and Clara did surprisingly well, though they were pretty much done by the time the fireworks actually started. Clara was mildly impressed (although when asked about her impression of the fireworks the following day, she emphatically responded with, "them are my best friends!") and Colby spent most of the time covering his eyes and/or ears. 

We made it home around 10:30 pm and finally, the kids all fell asleep without protest or noise (and somehow failed to wake up for the 1+ hour thunderstorms that followed that night). Hallelujah!


I have a new obsession with the Boomerang app.

And with that, our 2016 4th of July was a wrap. I have to say that holidays really do get better and better as the twins get older, and though I know they're still young, I hope they're starting to remember all the fun we're having!