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Friday, August 19, 2016

Weekending* in Austin

*Using "weekend" as a verb makes me feel fancy... sort of like "we've been weekending in the Hamptons since I was a child." And this recap is exactly like that, except instead of spending a luxurious weekend in the Hamptons, we drove to Austin and crammed 8 people into a 2-bedroom apartment and hardly showered while we were there.


I never know how to answer people when they ask where I'm from. Of course, in the immediate sense, I'm from Sugar Land, or as I more commonly tell people that aren't from around here, "I live in the Houston area."

But if they ask where I grew up, it's really a two-part answer. I lived in Dallas until I was 13, and then moved to Austin, which I considered to be where I was "from"... until my parents then moved back to Dallas when I was 29. Now that my parents don't live in Austin anymore, it seems weird to say that I'm from there, but obviously it's not like those years I spent living there don't count. 

All that to say, we haven't gotten back to Austin much in recent years, so a visit was long overdue. We joined the Olivers for a quick weekend getaway and squeezed in as much as we could with a short timeframe and 4 small children in tow.

Allison beat me to the punch with recapping (as usual), so feel free to go read that here

We headed that way last Friday and made it in time for lunch at Blue Baker, complete with a delicious BLT and 4 very hyperactive children.

Thankfully our plans for the afternoon involved said hyperactive children releasing some energy at Hop N Happy. The twins loved it, and so did we because it wasn't very crowded, didn't cost too much, and did not involve spending any time in the disgusting 100+ degree weather. Hooray!

Blue-eyed brothers from genetically-the-same-mothers

After some visits (yes, multiple) to Trader Joe's (Why do we not have one in Sugar Land? I need more cookie butter products in my life.) and Target, we "rested" at the apartment and let the cousins enjoy doing cousin things, like alternating playing with fighting. 

One amusing item to note: we had been talking to the twins about how we were going to Austin, and Colby apparently thought Austin was a person we were going to visit. All weekend, he referred to the apartment as "Austin's house," and kept asking where Austin was, and more importantly, where were all of his toys? Ha!

The dads went on solo duty for the evening while Allison and I caught up with a few high school friends at a really tasty restaurant that actually reminded me a lot of the places we ate in Charleston! Memories were relived - good and bad - and queso was consumed, aka: my ideal evening. 

There's no one like '01, baby!

We spent Saturday visiting with some other friends and frolicking in the apartment complex pool. And by "frolicking," I mean that I avoided actually getting into the pool and supervised from dry land instead.

Hanging out with the Trapps Destroying the Trapps' house, one toy box at a time :)

Remember my friend, Kaimey, that I blogged about? The two cuties on the right are her twinkies, Harper & Hudson!

We finished off the evening with dinner at Hula Hut (my favorite!), which was admittedly infinitely more stressful with children in tow. There are so many distractions (giant fake fish! water! people!) and keeping the children alive kind of killed my buzz, but the pipeline enchilada was still delicious and the tortilla chips were still plentiful, so there was that.

We also followed this outing up with cookie butter ice cream from Trader Joe's (see question above), bedtime for the little ones, and more Olympics-watching for the big ones.

On Sunday morning, we headed out to the Thinkery, which I had heard a lot about and was excited to introduce the twins to. They were not exactly cooperative, but they sure had fun!

We stopped for lunch on our way out of town and then made our way home, much to the twins' dismay. As is always the case when we travel with the Olivers, we enjoyed our quick trip to "Austin's house," and hope to make it back again before another 2 years pass by!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Life lately, as dictated by my iPhone

We've been busy doing the same old, same old around these parts with some anniversary-celebrating thrown in the mix. As usual, it's easier to let my phone do the talking:

How cute (and resourceful) are these future astronauts? JK, twins, you're never allowed to travel to space because I've watched too many movies where that didn't end well.

We are failing miserably at the battle to keep the twins from getting out of their beds. At least I've gotten over the initial panic I felt when I would scan the room with the video monitor and not be able to see one of them- now I know to assume they're under the bed!

And speaking of bedtime, Colby is obsessed with their storybook Bible and there have been several nights when we've found him asleep like this, with the Bible open on his pillow next to him. It's almost as if he poses it that way so when we find it, we can't be upset about all of the bedtime shenanigans he pulled. 

2 years later, we finally picked out a new chandelier that for the dining room- here's the before/after (and shout out to Brian for uninstalling the old one and installing the new one!)

Brian and I celebrated our 9th anniversary last week! We kicked off the day with an (early) breakfast outing with the twins, Brian brought me these pretty flowers at work, and then we finished off the evening with dinner at Perry's and dessert at The Middle Spoon. Resulting food coma not pictured. Thanks to Wade & Allison for babysitting!

We had a second anniversary celebration of sorts on Saturday night when we headed out to watch the Astros play (preceded by a delicious dinner at El Tiempo). Baseball is not really my thing, but I will not turn down the opportunity to go out on the town sans children (and thanks to the in-laws for wrangling said children that night)!

Colby kept putting this pot on his head at the Olivers' house and referring to himself as "Pot-ty Boy"... guess that's better than "Pot Head"?

It has come to our attention that very few people realize we own not one, but two dogs, so this picture is proof that Noah and Buster still exist. This is also proof that we regularly very occasionally take them on walks.

Oh, iPhone, what would I ever do without you documenting my family's entire life? And oh, readers, what would you ever do without me sharing all of said documentation with you?

Monday, August 1, 2016

Girl stuff

Since Colby got the spotlight last week, it's only fair that Clara gets her turn this week. Let me start by saying that she has given us her fair share of sass in recent weeks, most notably when Brian asked her to do something and she yelled back, "GET OUT OF MY FACE!" Oh, hey there, future 14-year-old Clara, you are terrifying.

I also recently asked her if she wanted apple or peach slices with her lunch and she responded with, "I don't like apples today. I want a waffle." Always paving her own way, that one (and once again, not a clue where she got it). 

And then there was the time she randomly announced from the back seat, "I don't want you to leave me at school anymore. I need you to stay with me. Sometimes I cry all day for you because I need you." Another heartwarming working mom moment for sure.

Emotional dumping and all, she is indeed a girly girl. And she's had two recent opportunities to really embrace that characteristic:

1. Going to her first all-girl birthday party

Her friend, Georgia Kate, had a baby doll themed party the weekend before last and as soon as I told her about it, she did not stop talking about getting to go! She also made sure that Colby was very clear about the fact that he would not be joining her... sisters are sweet.

She had unsurprisingly opted out of her nap that day, so she and her baby doll snuck in some Zs on the way to the party.

We actually brought two baby dolls because I had a feeling she was going to want the bigger one for some of the "activities," and I was right! 

These two cute cousins were loving every bit of it

Decorating their "diaper bags"

Terrible attempt at a pic of Clara and Avery with the sweet birthday girl

2. Getting ready for "dance class"
A few of Clara's friends at school started taking dance lessons this past year and it wasn't long before Clara started asking me if she could go to "dance class," too. Once Fall registration opened, we got her signed up, and after many months of waiting, we are now just two weeks away from her first class!

Allison helped me pick out her clothes the other night and after school on Friday, she insisted on trying everything on. 

I already posted this one on Instagram, but seriously, I was dying from the cuteness and the sweetness and also the sadness that she looks way too grown up here.

Not to worry, the sappiness didn't last long because she soon busted out her signature "cheese" face for the camera- framer!

I sent the top picture to my mom and sisters, to which one of them responded that it looked just like me when I was little. Allison then dug up this picture of us at a recital at around the same age:

Allison on the left; me on the right... alternatively known as COLBY on the left and CLARA on the right. See what I mean?:

Genetics are pretty crazy, right?

Anyway, I will be sure to update you all on how her first class goes (... and on whether or not the excitement carries her through the duration of the school year). 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


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


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??