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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Would You Rather Wednesday

Sooo yeah, not a single person voted for being blind over being deaf last week. Have any of you ever had both ears stopped up at the same time? It's pretty isolating/terrifying... but then again, I can understand how not being able to see would be a tad on the unsettling side as well!

And speaking of hardships, would you rather...

have a daily brain freeze that lasts for 1 minute 


have a daily case of the hiccups that lasts for 1 hour?

Things to consider:
- Option 1 would likely make you want to run over yourself with a car.
- Option 2 would also likely make you want to run over yourself with a car.

Good luck.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Would You Rather Wednesday

So the votes were pretty split last week between skipping showering and skipping teeth-brushing. I admit that I was a little surprised at how many of you were actually willing to go an entire week without bathing. Personally, I would skip out on brushing my teeth. I just think it's easier to hide bad breath and cover up the gross taste in your mouth than it is to hide the fact that you smell and look like a homeless person. But props to those of you that could pull it off!

So for this week, I've got a classic one for you:

Would you rather...

be blind


be deaf?

Things to consider:
- For option 1, missing this:

- For option 2, missing this:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Information I'm certain you couldn't live without

Just a few random thoughts for your Monday...

- We made these two important purchases this weekend:

You know what that means? I’m never going to lose my post-baby belly Fall is upon us! The verdict? The Pumpkin Spice M&Ms are more spicy than pumpkin-y... they're ok, but not my favorite. The Candy Corn Oreos are life-changing and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to eat a regular Oreo again. (Brian, on the other hand, seemed to really enjoy the M&Ms and said the Oreos just "taste like a cookie.")

- In case you didn't hear, the Aggies played a big game this weekend. Sadly, they didn't win, but we still had fun watching. Please pardon the fact that Colby's onesie jersey is a little big, leaving him looking like a boy band member sporting a v-neck.

Love these boys!

- This is what we're eating for dinner this week:

Chicken and Cheese Lasagna Roll-ups
Source: iVillage via Amanda on Pinterest (pinned on my "Dinner Time" board)

- Speaking of eating, I know I mentioned that we introduced the babies to rice cereal, and we also introduced them to avocados this weekend. Enjoy a few pics from their eating adventures:

Clara was pretty cooperative with the first feeding, but ended up spitting most of it up later. This has continued to be the trend for several of her "meals."

Colby was interested in the rice cereal, but not so much in sitting in the Bumbo, as evidenced by this gem of a picture:

That's a framer.

We calmed him down and tried again in the comfort of Daddy's arms and had much more success. I'm happy to report that we have since switched them to the high chairs and he is a big fan of "eating" now.

This is right about when she started oozing out the avocado.

Saving some avocado for later, clearly

- Relatedly, Clara spit up on the carpet yesterday and Brian called the dogs in to lick it up. I protested at first but quickly let it go when I realized it meant I wouldn't have to clean it up myself. So what do you think: is letting your dogs lick up your babies' spit up efficient or disgusting? 

- Do you remember this postthis post, and this post about the girl with my name that has a similar e-mail address? Well believe it or not, 2 years later, I am still getting some of her e-mails. Although I have come to realize there are probably a few other Amanda Joiners out there with similar e-mail addresses because I'm not just getting e-mails for the one in Colorado anymore. 

Normally I'm just getting coupons or e-mails for magazines that my namesakes have signed up for, but recently I got this one from an elementary school teacher in Georgia:

Just a reminder. Chorus begins tomorrow (Thursday, Sept 5). Please make sure you pick up your chorus student at 3:30 in the car line in front of school. They should come directly to the music room after school, unless they regularly go to ASP. Then they should go there first, check in and leave their book bags.

I mean, I know Colby and Clara are advanced, but I didn't think they were quite advanced enough to already have joined a choir (let alone one several states away), and especially without my knowledge, so I was pretty sure this wasn't for me. 

I e-mailed the teacher back to inform her she had the wrong Amanda Joiner (I mean, hey, I wouldn't want the other AJ's kid to miss choir practice, especially so early in the school year!), but apparently my act of kindness went unnoticed because she never responded. Oh well, can't say I didn't try.

And that's all the rambling I've got for today. Or at least all the rambling I'm taking the time to type out. Farewell for now!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Would You Rather Wednesday

I'm glad you all appreciated last week's WYRW and that it was a little tougher for you to decide! I would totally choose to insult people and hope that people just thought I was joking... or just severely socially handicapped, but somehow still lovable?

Would you rather...

go one entire week without showering/bathing


go one entire week without brushing your teeth?

Things to consider:
- For option 1, you can't use perfume/cologne to mask the smell. You can't wash your hair or face either.
- For option 2, you can't floss/use mouthwash/chew sugar free gum as a substitute.
- For option 1 and 2, you do have to go about your normal daily routine, including interacting and being in close proximity with other humans.

I know, I'm so strict, right?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Far too much documentation about my child's first illness

This was Clara on Thursday night, happy as always and attempting to chew on her feet.

This was Clara on Friday afternoon shortly after I picked her up from daycare:

Still happy, but sounding a little more like a zombie than a baby. I noticed that she was wheezing when we woke her up on Friday morning, but she seemed fine otherwise and I knew it would be a short day at daycare, so I didn't think much of it.

When I picked them up around noon, she was still wheezing and the daycare said she had a low grade fever of 99.9. After listening to a few coughs that sounded more like a seal barking on the way home, I decided it was probably best to take her into the pediatrician.

(Side note: our pediatrician's office closes from 12-2 pm for lunch every day. TWO HOURS. I really do like our doctor and the office in general, but don't you agree that that's pretty ridiculous?!)

I didn't have anyone to watch Colby, so I hauled both babies to the doctor, which was really no big deal minus the fact that I decided to carry their car seats in (rather than use a stroller), leaving me feeling like I just bench-pressed 300 pounds... 3 days later.  

Thankfully Colby spent most of the time snoozing, so I was able to pick Clara up once she started fussing. 

After checking Clara out, the pediatrician diagnosed her with croup (basically the children's version of laryngitis) and gave us a prescription for 3 days' worth of prednisone drops. She fell asleep in the car and stayed that way for a bit:

She was pretty pitiful by the time Brian got home so we decided to give the steamy bathroom trick a try and thankfully it seemed to work.

(That would be her hair sticking to Brian's face- he did not, in fact, grow a beard.)

There's nothing Daddy and a little Baby Einstein on the ipad can't fix...

And speaking of Daddy, I'm pretty sure he is the greatest one in the world. He voluntarily slept in the guest room next to the nursery both nights so he could be nearby if she woke up (which she did). I was dealing with my own cold/allergies, so it was a big help for me to get some rest. Sorry, ladies, but I've already got dibs on him until death does us part.

Anyway, back to the sicky: most likely because she wasn't feeling well, she was also not up for napping, so there was a lot of standing out on the porch for a change of scenery, driving around the neighborhood, swinging, baby bjorning, and pacifying involved. 

To say it was a long weekend would be an understatement. It is definitely sad to see your baby sick, but it is also exhausting, especially when you have another one to take care of! And speaking of the other one, thankfully (as of this point) Colby has managed to steer clear of catching it, which is pretty miraculous considering he very regularly puts his hand in her mouth and then sticks it in his own.

He actually was in an unusually good mood all weekend, and don't worry, we managed to document that as well:
Sporting his hand-me-down tuxedo onesie from cousin Davis

Someone pulled just a little too hard on the rings hanging above his activity mat. Who turned out the lights?

Practicing his ninja skills in the jumperoo

Babbling (while sister cries in the background)

In a rare moment where neither baby was fussing, they actually enjoyed some play time together in the jumperoos:

And we managed to get out of the house for a walk. We decided to test out the stroller sans car seats for the first time. Don't they look tiny in those big seats?

Even though we didn't leave the house on Sunday, we dressed the babies up and snapped a few pics because hey, these outfits won't fit for long and I'm sure as heck not letting them wear them to daycare.

(Don't let her smile fool you... she spent 75% of the day crying/fussing/groaning/being miserable. Poor baby.)

By Sunday night, it's safe to say we were all ready to crash. 

Your prayers for a speedy recovery for Clara and for Colby not to catch it would be greatly appreciated! Hope you all had a fun and germ-free weekend!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

5 months!

Well, it happened again. Another month passed and Colby and Clara are now FIVE months old. No appointment this month (which means no shots, hooray!), so I have no idea how much they weigh. I feel like they look longer in these pictures, but that's probably just as much because they are starting to stretch out more (rather than acting like doodle bugs) as it is that they are legitimately growing.

Anyway, let's get on with it.

Colby's current nicknames: Lumpy, Colby Guy, Turtle Lumpiness

Colby had about a week this month where he was generally fussy and inconsolable. He also drooled a lot and refused to take the pacifier, but didn't really have any other symptoms. Teething, maybe? Regardless, one day he woke up and decided he was over whatever was bothering him and he has been pretty happy-go-lucky ever since.

I know this is getting repetitive to say, but while Colby is generally a pretty happy guy, he is still the less patient of the two babies. If he has fallen asleep in the car and wakes up at home in his carseat, you will know it immediately because he will start crying until you come and rescue him. Clara, on the other hand, will sit patiently and look around the room for a good 20+ minutes before she insists on being picked up.

Colby is still sleeping on his stomach and loves to scoot around the crib throughout the night, drooling along the way. We refer to what's left behind as his slug trail. Occasionally he will roll over on his back and can't roll back over, at which point he gets upset and starts fussing. We refer to this as "turtling." Thankfully as soon as we roll him back over and pat his butt for a minute, he goes right back to sleep. this is where he earned the "Turtle" part of "Turtle Lumpkins."

Colby's current favorites: playing with his plastic keys, the blue monster pull toy on his car seat (nicknamed "Sully"), bouncing in the jumperoo, watching the birds on his mobile, getting ready for the bath, taking a bath, practicing standing, shoving his fist in his mouth, and holding Clara's hand 

Clara's current nicknames: Littlest, Little, Lady

We have recently nicknamed Clara the smile-aholic. She will literally smile at anyone and anything. She is especially smiley when we wake her up first thing in the morning, so I'm hoping that means I won't be the only morning person in the house anymore!

Loved her expression in this one

At least a million people have told us that boys are harder as babies but get easier as they get older, and that girls are easier as babies but get harder as they get older. No clue if it will continue to be true, but it certainly is right now. Clara is about as low maintenance as they come, although she is certainly capable of being irrational from time to time.

She is not as big of a fan of napping/sleeping as her brother, but she still does pretty well once she finally settles down, usually with the help of her faithful friend, the green froggy pacifier.

Clara's current favorites: green froggy, the pink owl pull toy on her car seat, watching anything on the tv (particularly Baby Einstein, but she is also a fan of HGTV and football, thanks to her daddy), her pink caterpillar toy, smiling, getting ready in the morning, taking a bath, practicing sitting, playing with her feet

Neither of them are doing any fun "tricks" yet. They can both roll from stomach to back, and Clara is getting really close to rolling from back to stomach, but Colby is making zero effort to do so. They can both sort of sit without assistance, but they lean really far forward and topple over almost immediately, so the "without assistance" part is a stretch.

"Hey sis, give me five!"

The smile-aholic in action, completely oblivious to the fact that Colby is trying to steal her sticker

Eating: nursing/taking pumped bottles 5 times per day; we just introduced rice cereal earlier this week so they are only eating "solids" once a day for the time being
Sleeping: pretty consistently from 8:15 pm-6:15 am on weeknights, and 8:15-7:15 am on weekends; They are napping 3 times a day with an occasional catnap on the way home from daycare, but that third nap (mid-afternoon) is not usually very substantial. Not really sure how/when to make the move to 2 naps a day, but I suppose we'll get there.
Clothing: 3-6 month

Happy 5 months, sweet babies! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Would You Rather Wednesday

Why did I not realize that mentioning the word "cockroach" in a would you rather question would automatically make the other option the winner? Clearly you all have not had to deal with a cricket chirping outside your bedroom window all night, because I can assure you that if you had, you might reconsider.

This week's edition involves no bugs but is a little on the childish side:

Would you rather...

have to tell every person you meet your least favorite physical feature about him/her (ex: "Hi, Susan. It's nice to meet you. You have a really disgusting unibrow.")


every time you walk into a room, you compulsively pass offensively smelling gas and everyone knows that you're the one to blame?

Things to consider:
- For option 1, have fun explaining to your toddler's newest play date's mom why you just told her kid he looked like a pug.
- For option 2, good luck with that job interview.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Labor Day 2013 (aka: a bunch of pictures you've already seen with some words)

Happy belated Labor Day, all! As you probably already saw on Facebook and Instagram, we took a little road trip to Austin and made a stop through La Grange on our way back home.

Thankfully the babies slept most of the way to Austin, and for the brief time that she was awake, Clara was perfectly content to hang out quietly in her car seat.

Brother, on the other hand, needed a little more entertainment and was none too pleased with the holiday traffic that prevented the car from being in forward motion at all times. 

Mommy worked her magic, though, and got both babies to fall back asleep for the rest of the drive. Victory!

We ate dinner out with the Olivers and my parents once we got into town on Friday night, after which we spent about 2 hours trying to get Clara to settle down for the night. She finally did go to sleep, but was up squawking every couple of hours after that.

Add in the fact that Davis woke up sick in the middle of the night and it's safe to say the Olivers' house was unusually hopping around 2:30 in the morning. Pretty sure Colby was the only one who managed to get in a satisfactory amount of sleep that night, so props to him.

The girls spent Saturday morning "sprinkling" Allison and baby Avery (due to arrive in less than 2 months!) while the boys watched football and ate manly food. Clara was in a really special mood due to her sleep fighting from the night before, but thankfully there were plenty of willing people to hold her and eventually she gave in and took a nap on Franny for a bit.

I'm sure Allison is going to recap the shower in more detail and with better pictures, so I'll leave that up to her. But I will share a picture of these delicious pink sprinkled donuts and a picture of Allison looking excited about having just cleaned her plate just for good measure.

Brian, Colby, Clara, and I had dinner with my parents on Saturday night while the Olivers hung out with Wade's family and I made sure to snap this action shot of Brian doing his workout for the day. My arms and I are very thankful that he almost always insists on carrying them both!

Davis was kind enough to let the babies borrow his towels for bath night, and Colby was kind enough to shove almost his entire fist into his mouth for this photo opp. 

Everyone slept much better on Saturday night but Colby decided to get the day started around 5:15. I finally surrendered and fed them both at 6:15, which meant we had plenty of time for an impromptu photo shoot in their patriotic Labor Day attire before the rest of the house woke up.

We stopped in La Grange for the day on our way back home and the babies got to spend some quality time with Brian's family. It's safe to say they were not short on entertainment for the weekend!

Watching football with her Aunt Shannon... don't worry, I will soon teach her that while boys watch football, we eat queso, get pedicures, and go shopping. Unless it's the Aggies, in which case we watch intermittently while eating queso.

Clara continued the weekend's theme of refusing to sleep by battling naptime for 30 minutes but eventually she surrendered.

We hit the road and made it home in time for bedtime on Sunday and let's just say all 4 of us were very thankful to be back in our own beds that night! Colby and Clara slept from 8:15-7:30 without hardly making a peep, for which Mommy and Daddy were very thankful.

We spent Monday recovering from the weekend and getting ready for another (short!) week of work and daycare. I got to make a quick visit to meet my friend's twins, Maggie and Mary, who were born 2 weeks ago and graduated from the NICU earlier that day. One of them was the same size Clara was when she left the hospital- I really could not believe my babies were ever that tiny, let alone just 5 short months ago!

We ended the day by giving Colby and Clara their first taste of rice cereal, but I think I'll save those pictures for another post, minus this little preview:

And that, my friends, is how the Joiners did Labor Day weekend 2013. Hope your weekends were equally fun and involved a lot more sleep than ours :)