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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Would You Rather Wednesday

I don't even really want to talk about the results of last week's WYRW. I am going to attribute the fact that my beloved Backstreet Boys did not win exclusively to Justin Timberlake and how cool he has become. In case you forgot, I love(d) the BSB so much that I actually met two of them. So I'm just going to move on and pretend you all love them as much as I do.

And now for a holiday-themed "would you rather" that I think you'll all appreciate: would you rather…

have to start every sentence that you say (or type) with the word "gobble" all day on Thanksgiving (Example: "Gobble can you please pass the orange juice? Gobble thank you.")


have to space out every single bite you take of Thanksgiving dinner in 5-minute increments (Example: take a bite of turkey. Wait 5 minutes. Take a bite of stuffing. Wait 5 minutes. Take a bite of corn.)

Things to consider:
- For option 1, nobody will want to talk to you. And if you like attention and telling stories (like I do), then this will be very painful for you.
- For option 2, it will take you about 300 years to finish your dinner, and it will likely get cold after the first few bites.

Gobble, gobble!

Monday, November 25, 2013

An overdue 'thank you'

On this Monday, the beginning of Thanksgiving week, I thought it would be appropriate for me to share a little bit about one of the things for which I am most thankful: my husband.

Brian has always been a wonderful and thoughtful husband, but over the past 7.5 months, I have really been impressed (and humbled) by how involved and helpful he has been as a dad. I suppose when you have twins, the dad doesn't have much of a choice because the extra set of hands is pretty much a necessity, but I'm sure there are plenty of deadbeat twin dads out there, so I still give him credit! ;)

Because I want him to know that I notice it all and because I want to shamelessly request that you all applaud him for his awesomeness, allow me to share a list of the things he does regularly:

- Every morning he gets one baby up and dressed (while I get the other). While I feed them, he loads up all of our bags into the car. Once I'm done feeding them, he burps them both and gets them loaded into their car seats and into the car so I can get dressed in peace (albeit quickly!).
- He chauffeurs us to/from work/daycare every day, leaving me to play mindlessly on my phone while he navigates traffic :)
- When we're out running errands, he almost always insists on carrying both car seats (no easy task these days).
- Every weeknight, he prepares the babies' bottles and their solid food for the next day. He even makes sure to color coordinate the containers for their respective meals so the teachers won't get them mixed up.
- He stays up with me at night when I pump before bed and even though I know he is exhausted, he still gets up and steam cleans the pump parts after I'm finished.
- Speaking of nighttime, I have mentioned this before, but Brian is the "sleep master" at our house. He puts the babies down to sleep (after I finish feeding them) for the night, and if one of them wakes up in the middle of the night, he is the first one to go check on them. (We do have an unspoken rule that if there are repeat wake ups by the same baby, we usually take turns going to check on him/her, but that doesn't happen often, so he usually does most of the late night check-ins!)

Not sure if I mentioned this, but back when the babies were still waking up to eat in the middle of the night, he got up with me every single time. I did not have to do a single middle-of-the-night feeding alone, which was a huge help since there were two diapers to change and two babies to burp.

- We normally don't ditch each other on the weekends because we both know how much work it is to juggle the twins alone. However, I have had 3 social outings in the past week that have required him to watch them solo, 2 of which occurred during their fussiest time of the day. Not only did he gladly agree to do so, but didn't complain or make me feel guilty even once. And did I mention that one of them was while the twins both had a stomach bug and were behaving like patients at an insane asylum? It is possible that he's a saint.

The list really could go on for days… he fills up my water bottle every night before bed, he feeds the dogs when we get home every evening, he makes pancakes and eggs for us every Saturday (or Sunday) morning while I feed the twins, he helps fold baby laundry, he gets their bath ready while I pick out their clothes for the next day, and he brings me leftover desserts from his office's social functions.

Most of all, even though having two infants to care for has made me even more stressed out/emotional/unattractive/certifiably insane than I already was, he puts up with me and loves me anyway.

I know I don't say it nearly enough, so allow me to do so publicly today: thank you, Brian, for being the best partner ever in this adventure called marriage and parenthood!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Would You Rather Wednesday

You are not going to believe this, but for the first time ever, last week's WYRW resulted in a tie! Apparently both of the taxidermy-gone-wrong options were so awesome that it was impossible to pick a true favorite.

(Can we pretend that I haven't been a terrible blogger lately and that I haven't slacked off completely since last week's post? Thanks.)

I don't mean to be too controversial, but I think it's important for me to know where my readers stand on life's important issues, so for this week: would you rather…

spend a day hanging out with the Backstreet Boys


spend a day hanging out with *NSync?

Things to consider:
- The opportunity to hear this song live and up close:

- The opportunity to hear this song live and up close:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Would You Rather Wednesday

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that my readers are so passionate about Mexican food, and in particular, queso. It was definitely the winner in last week's WYRW post, but don't feel too bad for guacamole because it got plenty of love as well.

This week's "would you rather" was inspired by a post I recently saw on Facebook with pictures of taxidermy gone wrong. It is truly amazing.

Would your rather...

have this mounted on your bedroom wall


have this mounted on your bedroom wall?

You're welcome.

(Relatedly, if you never saw this youtube sensation, please go check it out now. And then go watch the songified version. You won't regret it!)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

On my mind

- We went to Costco over the weekend and the babies rode in the shopping cart for the first time (rather than in their car seats). We snapped a picture to commemorate the occasion and I thought it captured their personalities perfectly:

Clara, being a happy little spaz, and Colby, looking serious and somewhat concerned (we've decided his slogan is "happiness not guaranteed"- ha!)

- Public Service Announcement: the correct spelling of the slang word for "yes" is "yeah." It's not "ya" or "yah," and when people spell it that way, I hear it as if Franck is speaking from Father of the Bride. 

- It baffles me when people scrape the icing off of their cake/cupcake and don't eat it. To me, that is like plucking the chocolate chips out of a cookie before eating it. Why would you ever turn down something so delicious?

- Speaking of delicious, we're having crock pot chicken with black beans and cream cheese for dinner this week and it's pretty tasty. We spent a good deal of time this weekend preparing inordinate amounts of baby food for the twins, so it was nice to be able to make dinner for the week with almost zero effort. 

- Lastly (sorry to end on a sad note), as many of you have heard/read by now, my friend, Erika, and her husband, Matt, had their hearts broken this past weekend when the adoption of their new baby girl fell through. I know they would appreciate your prayers right now. I read a poem in a book by Beth Moore (Whispers of Hope) several years ago and it has been on my mind ever since I heard the news, so I thought I'd share it in case it's an encouragement to any of you:

Trust me with your Isaac

For every Abraham who dares 
to kiss a foreign field 
where glory for a moment grasped 
Is for a lifetime tilled… 

The voice of God 
speaks not but once 
but ‘til traveler hears 
“Abraham! Abraham! Bring your Isaac here!” 

“Bring not the blemished sacrifice. 
What lovest thou the most? 
Look not into the distance, 
you’ll find your Isaac close.” 

“I hear the tearing of your heart 
torn between two loves, 
the one your vision can behold 
the Other hid above.” 

“Do you trust me, Abraham 
with your gravest fear? 
Will you pry your fingers loose 
and bring your Isaac here?” 

“Have I not made you promises? 
Hold them tight instead!
I am the Lover of your soul— 
the Lifter of your head.” 

“Believe me, O my Abraham 
when blinded by the cost. 
Arrange the wooded altar 
and count your gains but loss.” 

“Let tears wash clean your blinded eyes until unveiled you see— 
the ram caught in the thicket there 
to set your Isaac free.”

“Perhaps I’ll send him down the mount 
to walk right by your side. 
No longer in your iron grasp 
but safer still in mine.” 

“Or I may wrap him in the wind 
and sweep him from your sight 
to better things beyond your reach— 
believe with all your might!”

“Look up, beloved Abraham. 
Can you count the stars? 
Multitudes will stand to reap 
from one dear friend of God.” 

“Pass the test, my faithful one; 
bow to me as Lord. 
Trust me with your Isaac— 
I am your great Reward.” 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Would You Rather Wednesday

Ha, so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that last week's WYRW post prompted the most votes ever- that's what happens when you bring up chocolate! Reese's peanut butter cups were the winner- good choice, my readers!

Because you are all clearly passionate about food, I'm going to stick with that theme this week. Would you rather...

have to give up queso


have to give up guacamole?

Things to consider:
- Either way, your life would be a little less meaningful and enjoyable.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Seven months!

Colby and Clara are a whopping 7 months old today! Yes, it's true, the babies are now closer to being a year old than they are to being newborns. Weird.

Colby's current nicknames: (The) Colby Guy, Lumpy/Lumpster/Lumpkins, Buddy Guy

No check-up this month, so your guess as to their height and weight is as good as mine! 

I am thankful to report that this happy guy was MUCH happier during month 7 than during month 6. After a lot of troubleshooting to determine what was causing his fussiness and sleeplessness, we finally found the cure: antibiotics. After he woke himself and us up for the millionth time coughing one night, I called the pediatrician the next day to ask if there was anything over-the-counter we could give him. When I mentioned the cough/congestion had been going on for 2+ weeks, she indicated it was likely a sinus issue at that point and called in a prescription for Amoxicillin. Two days into taking it and he was a changed man, I tell you!

The little mister is still not an awesome napper (see below), but he has been sleeping great at night and we haven't had any more issues with solids. Hooray!

(I know I mentioned that I was going to do a post about sleep training Colby. We set out on a mission to let him "cry it out" right around the same time he started the antibiotics, so although we had one night of 30-45 minutes of crying, the whole thing ended up being kind of a non-event... so not much training really ended up happening!)

In addition to rolling around and doing a better job of sitting on his own (although far from doing it independently), Colby also got his first tooth this month! He has enjoyed using that tooth to gnaw on anything and everything, supplier of the milk (aka: me) included. 

Colby's current favorites: his plastic keys, being held and generally being upright, banging his toys onto hard surfaces, eating, grabbing whatever is in his reach (mommy's hair included), staring at the dogs, and as of recently, his wubbanub pacifiers

Clara's current nicknames: Littlest, Sissy, Girly Girl, Baby Girl

Quite the social butterfly, Clara is still really into smiling at everyone and everything. She is really only sad if she's really tired. And then there was the one time that Daddy was making pterodactyl noises in an effort to make Colby laugh and it scared her to the point of tears. Other than that, she really is pretty much always in an agreeable mood.

Very rarely do people say that she looks like me, but I totally think so in this picture!

Clara isn't rolling as much as Colby and still needs help sitting, but she's getting stronger and better at balancing every day. She also REALLY loves her jumperoo, so those chunky legs of hers are getting plenty of exercise, that's for sure.

Clara is a good napper, good sleeper, and good eater- we really don't have many struggles with her, and we are very thankful for that! Colby is by no means a difficult baby, but the fact that she's so easy-going sure does make it easier to manage some of his higher maintenance tendencies. 

Clara's current favorites: her wubbanub pacifier collection, her crinkly giraffe toy ("raffie"), spitting up on Daddy's work clothes, staring at the dogs, bouncing spastically in the jumperoo, splashing in the bath, "watching" anything on the television, smiling

And now it's time for the joint pics! You can tell in these how close in size they are these days:

Eating: nursing/taking pumped bottles 5 times per day and eating solids 2x/day
Sleeping: Relieved to report that they sleep from 8 pm-6 am on weeknights and 8 pm-7:30ish am on weekends.

Naptime is probably my least favorite part of parenting so far. It is really stressful for me because they pretty much both put up at least somewhat of a fight for every nap. Clara is easier to defeat, but still does her share of crying/flailing/refusing to settle down. Colby puts up a little more of a fight and sometimes boycotts naps entirely. Thankfully Brian is extremely patient and can normally get them both to sleep. If I were on my own, I have no doubt I would have run into oncoming traffic by now.

We are still putting them down for 3 naps a day and I would move them down to 2, but they just still seem too tired/cranky to drop that 3rd nap. Any napping suggestions/advice from you veteran moms?
Clothing: 6 month

Can't wait to see what month 8 has in store, little ones. We love you!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Welcoming baby Avery

As you're likely already aware, Avery Jane, my newest niece and the littlest member of the Oliver family, made her debut on Friday! She weighed in at 7 pounds, 10 ounces, and came out with more hair than her cousin, Clara, has currently at almost 7 months. (It's also funny to think that she's already about half of Clara's current weight!)

We hit the road on Halloween night to make it to Austin, and thankfully the babies didn't have any trouble transitioning from sleeping in the car to sleeping in the crib/pack n play once we arrived.

(This was pre-sleeping, clearly. I really just took this picture because it's interesting to me that Colby, who has more or less rejected the pacifier for the past 6+ months, has suddenly taken a liking to them. I think he likes the way they feel on his new tooth!)

And then there's Clara, who has never met a pacifier she didn't like.

I woke up bright and early on Friday morning and made a little trip to the nearby urgent care clinic (ok it was an emergency room, but that sounds dramatic and it really wasn't) to address the most recent illness that the babies decided to bring home from daycare and share with me. I felt like death and was none too pleased when the doctor declared that "maybe it was just allergies," but thankfully he conceded that it was likely something viral. Pretty sure at 30 years old, I know the difference between allergies and waking up with both eyes crusted shut and a dry cough that made me sound (and feel) like a chain smoker, but thanks.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that I just had to power through it and do my best not to spread germs to anyone else in the family, most importantly the newborn baby!

I spent the rest of Friday morning with the fam eagerly awaiting Avery's arrival. Davis was a good sport in the waiting room, in large part thanks to "Curious George" and "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood." Oh, and his grandparents.

She was supposed to be born around 7:30-8 am, but because apparently hospitals don't always run on schedule (who knew?), she didn't show up on the scene until closer to 10 am. I guess you could say she was worth the wait ;)

Little eskimo baby

Check out that hair!

Check out that cute face!

Check out that sickly aunt with the pink eyes!

Yep, your auntie is crazy, but I'm afraid you're stuck with her!

Re-post from facebook: Wade, Brian, and the 2013 babies... weird to think that these 3 (and Davis) are all genetically half siblings since Allison and I are identical twins (and have the exact same genes)!

Franny and Clara

Pop Pop and Avery

Little Muffin

Proud big brother, Davis

These two were great sports even though they spent most of the weekend stuck in their car seats and/or being shuffled to and from the hospital!

Attempting to get Clara to nap in the hospital room... 

Eventually I succeeded!

It's safe to say these two were exhausted on the drive home on Saturday after all that excitement...

I'm sad to report that Allison and I didn't get any pictures together, but I have a feeling we'll more than make up for it next time we're together.

We're glad to be back home and ready to take on a new week, but sad to have had to leave so soon after baby AJ arrived. Not sure when we'll get to see them next, but one thing is for sure: there will be many FaceTime dates in our future!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy birthday, Avery!

Colby and Clara have their party hats on in honor of their newest cousin's birthday today!  

We love you so much already and can't wait to meet you, Avery!

With love,
Uncle Brian, Aunt Amanda, & cousins Colby and Clara

PS - I'm sorry that I didn't write you your own letter, but if you'll refer to the letter I wrote to your big brother, that should really cover all the basics.