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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Catching up: end of summer edition

OMG, y'all, can you believe summer break has come to an end? Ha ha ha JK, I don't get summer breaks. But the season itself is wrapping up, and any small hint of sadness I have about not being able to go to the pool, etc. is overshadowed by how anxious I am for this offensively hot and humid weather to go away. I know, I know- I have at least 2 months before that will become a reality.

Anyway. We have been up to many exciting things, I assure you:

We had an impromptu sleepover with the cousins at our house. This entailed minimal sleeping, lots of playing, and most importantly, donuts. 

Colby and Clara got back-to-school haircuts (... even though they never stopped going to school and therefore aren't really going "back"). Clara was hesitant about getting hers cut, as I think she equates long hair with princess status, but was anxious to show it off once all was said and done:

On the flip side, Colby had no qualms about the actual haircut, but as usual, acted like a tortured prison inmate when I asked him to take a picture. Also as usual, incorporating a Transformer in the process eventually helped him come around.

Daddy took the twins solo to a swimming birthday party and handled it like a pro (translation: no children drowned.) This is actually a significant victory because in case I haven't mentioned it on here already, the twins took 2 weeks of swimming lessons at the beginning of the summer and have since deemed themselves as professional swimmers that in no way need puddle jumpers or other assistance. We've been simultaneously impressed and terrified by their newfound independence in the water.

We went to the zoo with some friends this past weekend- yes, in August- AND lived to tell the tale! They were having a "snow day" and since Clara coincidentally has been praying recently for God to make it snow (how's that for faith?!), we figured it was worth braving the heat to go.

Of course, we had to visit all of the other regular exhibits, too, making sure to spend as much time in the indoor exhibits as possible!

This is Clara waving to me when she insisted she was "big and brave" and didn't need me to stand with her. She dismissed me to the bench a few seats back to watch from afar. Sniff sniff. 

I also hosted a baby "sprinkle" for my sweet friend, Kristen, that's going to have baby #3 in the next couple of weeks! While we opened presents and I helped myself to 2 servings of the cake you see below, Brian and the kids enjoyed pizza and a shared milkshake for dinner, so all of us were fat and happy by the time the evening was done.

Our church had a "Back-to-School Bash" on Sunday, complete with snow cones (... and water bounce houses, which we pretended we didn't know about and therefore didn't bring their swimsuits - mean parents).

And to officially end summer, Colby and Clara moved into the Pre-K room at daycare this week! Of course I had to document the occasion:

I just can't wrap my brain around the fact that 5 years ago yesterday we found out we were pregnant, and seemingly 10 minutes later, here we are about to start their last year before Kindergarten. Trying hard not to blink anymore! 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Stomach bugs and anniversary celebrations

Hey! Remember me? I'm sure you thought I took a 3-week blogging break because I was doing glamorous things or had some mysterious secret I was waiting to reveal. But you were wrong. Basically our past 3 weeks have been filled with the twins (mostly Clara) suffering from a stomach bug that wouldn't die. 

I decided a few weeks back to take an impromptu afternoon off to spend a little time with the twins in between Clara's speech therapy session and Colby's ENT appointment. I wanted to make the most of it, so I decided to meet up with a friend and her kids at an indoor play place. My plan was working out splendidly until Colby started saying his tummy hurt, disappeared for a few minutes, came back to me declaring proudly, "I throwed up!" and then walked me over to the scene of the crime (top of the slide), where he pointed and said, "Hey, there's my lunch!" Lovely.

Public vomiting is (or was) a top 5 parenting fear of mine, so it was neat to cross that one off the bucket list. Thankfully the staff members were nice about it and we were able to escape without causing too much of a scene. Colby spent the rest of the evening bonding with the barf bucket, and the next day or so recovering.

I'm sure you know where this is going: about 4 days passed before I got the first phone call from daycare telling me Clara was complaining about a stomachache. This went on for a few days before she threw up for the first time, and then she basically spent the next 2 weeks throwing up once every 2-3 days and complaining every afternoon about her stomach hurting. Thankfully my mother-in-law was able to help take care of her, but there were many more calls from daycare that put me into a working mom panic throughout the whole ordeal!

This is when I had to pick her up early and bring her back to my office for a couple of hours... she was pretty miserable, but I was very appreciative of my co-workers that did their best to help cheer her up and make her comfortable!

So yeah, that has been the past couple of weeks. BUT the highlight amidst the attack of the relentless stomach bug was that Brian and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last Friday! Brian's parents graciously kept the kids for a couple of nights, so we were able to go out to breakfast AND dinner to celebrate:

Early morning breakfast before work

Dinner at Fleming's, where I decided to sport my rehearsal dinner dress because I'm a total dork sentimental like that

Speaking of sentimental, my gift to Brian was this framed star map from the night of our first date! I saw an ad for these a few months back and since we looked at stars on our first date, I thought it would be a good way to commemorate "the night it all began." Cheesy, I know, but I thought it turned out cute:

Also a good option for commemorating a wedding, birth, etc.!

Brian also apparently went with the first date theme: if you read the post I linked to above, then you know that when he showed up to pick me up for our first date, he was holding a poster listing out 10 things he liked about me. So this year, he decided to make a new list:

I appreciated his thoughtfulness... and I also appreciated the gift card for a massage that came with it ;)

Meanwhile, Colby and Clara were having a great time (as always) with Mimi and Granddaddy, complete with dressing up in Daddy's and Aunt Shannon's old costumes:

Anyway, everyone seems to be on the mend now, so hopefully my next blog post will not feature the words "barf" or "vomit"... but no promises.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Some firsts

In the midst of surviving temperatures that rival that of the sun, we've experienced a few firsts lately that are worth documenting:

1. Speech Therapy for Clara
We've noticed for a while that Clara has issues with articulating certain sounds ('k' and 'g', to be specific) and after realizing she wasn't self-correcting, we finally took her to get evaluated in June. She started weekly speech therapy pretty soon thereafter and now has about 1.5 months under her belt. The sessions are quick (30 minutes), but her speech therapist is awesome and we're already noticing some progress. 

Meanwhile, Clara is loving the quick mid-day getaway with Mommy (I take her during my lunch break- such is life as a working mom!), and perhaps even more than that, she is loving the weekly visits to the treasure box. Her favorite find thus far is this get-up:
Every time she puts it on, she says she is Granddaddy (Brian's dad) and starts talking in this hysterical deep voice, saying she has to "go fix the television"- ha!

2. Visiting the library
I'm not sure why we waited this long to take the twins to the library, but we took them for the first time a couple of weeks ago and it was a hit. Once they got past the initial excitement of the computer game section, they made their way to the activity area and eventually to the actual books. We've now been twice and let them each pick out one book to check out at each visit. The biggest benefit to this is that they now actually want to sit still when we read to them before bed! I guess they were just bored with their collection and needed some variety, so I'm glad we've made this discovery. 

Colby's first two take-home books have revolved around Star Wars and robots, while Clara's have been about "The Nutcracker" and unicorns. Standard.

Brian gave me a gift certificate to use at this place over a year ago, but I couldn't ever find a painting I liked on a date that worked. I finally found one last Saturday that I thought I might actually want to keep and miraculously convinced 6 other people from small group to go with me! We ate, we drank, we chatted... oh yeah, and we painted. We had a great time and I definitely want to go back again! 

For those that are curious about how it works like I was, I included a progression of the steps it took to get from beginning to end:

Love these ladies!

4. Colby's first Astros game
Brian and Wade took Davis and Colby to their first Astros game last Sunday. They lucked out with great seats and even ended up on the jumbotron... throw in the fact that Colby got a giant ice cream cone all to himself and I'm pretty sure this outing made it on his list of favorite activities ever!

5. Storybook Cottage
While the boys were at the game, Allison and I took Clara and Avery to a princess birthday party for a friend at this cute little place. They dressed up, got their nails painted, did a style show, frosted (and ate) cupcakes, decorated picture frames, read a princess story, and helped the birthday girl open presents. So yeah, Clara wasn't exactly excited when it was time to leave! Thankfully I bribed her with the promise of getting to watch an episode of Elena of Avalor while wearing her Elena dress once we got home... worked like a charm.

We ended Sunday evening with one more first: introducing the twins to Guitar Hero. It did not go well and once they started using the guitar as a weapon, we scrapped that idea... but not before snapping this pic:

So how about you- any noteworthy firsts you've experienced lately?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

More Colby & Clara-isms

These two never cease to amuse me, and I thought it only fair to share their latest shenanigans with you all as well:

Nope, not their birthday

When I met Brian at daycare after the Father's Day party last month,  he took Colby to the restroom while I watched Clara finish up her dinner. Imagine my disgust surprise when I watched her pick up her hot dog, DIP IT IN HER CUP OF TEA, and eat it. Because that wasn't weird enough, she then proceeded to do the same thing with her potato chip. 

After we got back from our trip to the Dominican, the twins had a lot of questions about our travels. My favorites from Colby were, "Why did you go to the beach without us? Did the airplane man say no kids could come?" (Yes, that's exactly why we didn't take you... blame the airplane man.) Also, thanks to Captain Jake & the Neverland Pirates, he was very interested to find out if Brian and I had spent the week throwing coconuts at each other's heads.

After one of the more recent sibling skirmishes, I reminded Clara that she needed to apologize to Colby and give him a hug. She looked at me sullenly and said, "I don't have no more hugs in my heart." She's nothing if not honest (... and grammatically challenged).

The twins recently requested that we each take one of their stuffed animals to work with us and take pictures to document their activities. Unfortunately, Brian forgot Colby's beloved Teddy at work. Once they were reunited the following evening, Colby said to me, "Mommy, Teddy wasn't alone at Daddy's work because he has Jesus in his heart." Bless that little boy's heart!

The monitor had been quiet for a good 20 minutes the other night after we put the twins to bed when we heard Colby calling for us:
Me: What is it, bud?
Colby: I tooted.
Brian & me: [laughing]
Colby: Did you hear it?
Me: Sure, we heard it, bud.
Colby: Was it loud?
Me: Oh yes, it was really loud.
Colby: Did you and daddy laugh?
Me: Yes, bud, we both laughed. 
Colby: Ok... I'm gonna do it again.

And then a recent conversation I had with Clara at bedtime:
Me: Are you going to be a mommy some day?
Clara: I can't because I don't have a baby in my tummy.
Me: Well one day when you're grown up, maybe God will put a baby in your tummy.
Clara: I'm this many [holds up 4 fingers], so maybe God can put a baby in my tummy now!
Yep, age 4 is obviously the appropriate age to conceive a child.

And lastly, the twins discovered the wonders of the Amazon Echo at Brian's parents house a few weeks ago. After they got over the initial amusement of asking her basic questions, they moved onto their favorite activity: poop jokes.

Oh, age 4, how you amuse us, so!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Celebrating the 4th of July

Last weekend, we made our annual pilgrimage to Dallas to spend the 4th of July with my family. Though the weekend got off to a bit of a rocky start when Clara tossed her cookies not once, but twice during the drive up there, we ended up having a great time.

The barfer, stripped down and looking pitiful/stoned for the last part of the drive

We partook in many of the same activities we usually partake in when making our 4th of July visit... 

eating excessively...

This would be our family, taking up the entire patio at lunch one day!

... playing with cousins...

...making frequent trips to the park...

...playing at Northpark Mall...

(including a visit to the movie theater to see Despicable Me 3)

... playing with my parents' collection of dogs... 

Seriously, it feels like they add a new one to the pack every time we come to visit :)

... and of course, attending the parade with the whole gang on the 4th of July!

What I post on social media vs. ...

Real life

Franny & Pop Pop with all 8 of the grandkids, ranging from 3-12!

We headed back to Sugar Land that afternoon and after a few hours of unpacking and distracting the twins, we met up with the Olivers to watch the fireworks. We weren't as close to the show this year and I think that actually worked out in our favor because they weren't quite so loud. 

The twins were troopers and made it until the show was over around 10 pm, but this little lady promptly fell asleep for the 10-minute drive home.

It was another fun-filled 4th of July, and now we're all back to work/school and counting down the days until the next holiday (I'm looking at you, Labor Day)!