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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Would You Rather Wednesday

And now it's time for this week's edition of Would You Rather Wednesday! This week's question is for ladies only (unless you are a drag queen). My apologies to the plethora of males that are reading this and feeling left out.

Would you rather...

cut your own hair with your non-dominant hand

OR

put your makeup on in the dark/without a mirror every day for a month?

Things to consider:
- For option 1, it has to be a full cut, not just a trim.
- For option 2, you have to go about business as usual that month (so you can't just stay home and look like a clown in solitude).
- For option 2, you aren't allowed to fix it if/when you see what it looks like later in the day.
- For option 1 and 2, you aren't allowed to give people an explanation for your terrible hair cut and/or makeup. You just have to let them believe you did it like that on purpose.

Friday, July 26, 2013

New mom must haves

I have read a number of "must have" posts about the essential items you need during pregnancy, your hospital stay, at home with a newborn, etc. Usually those posts are both helpful and practical, but also fairly similar to one another. So, my lucky readers, I have decided to share with you a brief list of some of the lesser known must-haves in surviving life with an infant (or two, as the case may be):

1. A crock pot. Eventually those delicious prepared meals from friends and family members will stop coming. Unfortunately, your free time will be in short supply, so do yourself a favor and load up your Pinterest board with slow cooker recipes. Particularly ones that require less than 5 ingredients. I'm a big fan of this one and this one, and plan to try this one and this one in the near future.

2. A hair cut. Sure, long hair is nice in theory. Until you have to wash it, brush it, dry it, fix it, or do anything with it that requires more than 5 minutes of your time. Also, the baby will very soon develop an interest in grabbing things and "things" = your hair. So do yourself a favor and go for the mom cut. You'll be glad you did.
I wish my ears were showing in the picture on the right... I feel like it looks like I'm wearing a (very boring) wig.

3. Under-the-eye concealer. I don't care if you've never had bags under your eyes a day in your life- you will need this unless you want the general public to think you are (a) suffering from a terminal illness or (b) a vampire. 

4. An iPhone. This is especially important if you plan on nursing. There are lots of moms out there who like to pass the time while nursing by staring intently at their babies and memorizing their every feature. Then there are moms that like to stalk their ex-boyfriend's brother's wife on facebook and/or read blogs about high order multiples to pass the time. I'll let you guess into which camp I fall. 

The iPhone will sometimes feel like your only connection to the outside world. And perhaps most importantly, it will be a million times more convenient than that fancy (ginormous) camera you bought for taking pictures of your precious little pumpkin(s). And, of course, taking pictures on the iPhone makes over-sharing posting your pictures to social media outlets for all the world to see a lot easier as well.

5. Other friends with babies. This one is key. And they need to have babies pretty close in age to yours, because I have discovered that moms forget pretty much everything fairly shortly after it happens. For example, if you ask your friend with a 10-month-old when her baby first rolled over/slept through the night/dropped down to two naps/etc., she will probably scratch her head and vaguely refer to a 2-3 month time span during which the activity in question might have occurred.

And do not even bother with friends whose babies are no longer babies (I'm looking at you, sis), because they will remember almost nothing and be of very little use to you. However, these friends do still serve a purpose because (a) they are living proof that you will survive the newborn days and (b) they are living proof that you will one day forget the really hard parts of the newborn days and not be traumatized by them forever.

So do yourself a favor and find some friends that are due around the same time you are so you can text each other incessantly with "important" questions like how many times a day their babies poop and lament together over the fact that your babies can't continue sleeping in Rock N' Plays until the age of 16.

So there you have it, folks! Any other less common new mom must-haves you care to share?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Would You Rather Wednesday

Get excited because I have decided to do a weekly blog segment! I have always been a big fan of "would you rather" questions and I thought this would be a quick and easy way for me to crank out at least one blog post per week. There really isn't much more to it than that... so let's get started with this week's question:

Would you rather...

crab walk for two miles or mow your entire lawn with a pair of child-safe scissors (just one time)?

ETA: Originally the question asked if you'd rather crab walk two miles every day for a week, but apparently that made the choice too easy, so I'm changing it to just one 2-mile crab walk! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Loving/not loving

Clearly I have not yet found a way to integrate blogging into my new routine. This is in part because I have less free time, but also largely due to the fact that my brain operates mostly in survival mode at the moment, therefore leaving little space for thinking of anything exciting to say.

So for today, let’s keep it simple with a list of what I am and am not currently loving (thanks, sis, for the suggestion):

Loving:
- Bath time for the babies—they are really into splashing around at the moment which is much more exciting than their previous reaction of sitting still and looking completely unimpressed.

- Bath time for me—this is quite possibly the only time that I spend relaxing each day. Relatedly, I fell asleep in the bathtub on Saturday night. Perhaps I should try splashing around to keep that from happening again? (You’re welcome for that entertaining visual.)

- The babies are progressively doing a lot more smiling, laughing, and babbling (although I kind of hate that word) and it’s pretty darn cute. It kind of makes me sad to think that one day we won’t get excited over every facial expression or sound they make :o/

- The following foods, which I have been consuming in embarrassingly large portions: guacamole, tortilla chips, trail mix, peanut butter pretzels

- The vacuum cleaner sound on the “Sound Sleeper” app, which we use to (a) help the babies fall asleep if needed and (b) help them calm the bleep down if nothing else is working. Can’t believe what it must have been like in the olden days when they had to use actual vacuums…

- The Costco that just opened up not far from our house, which is both amazing and dangerous. Amazing because the samples are endless and where else can you buy a bag of kettle corn that’s 3 feet tall? Dangerous because I now have a 4-pound bag of trail mix in my desk at work.

- That my sweet friend, Brittany, welcomed her baby girl, Georgia Kate, into the world yesterday! And she totally thought she was having a boy, so somehow that makes the surprise seem even more fun to me.


Not loving:
- Having bad skin, a lumpy stomach, and feeling generally frumpy. Yes, I realize I just birthed two humans 3.5 months ago and I need to cut myself some slack, but that doesn’t make me feel better. I somehow feel less attractive now than I did when I was pregnant?

- Clutter in the house… two times the bottles, baby equipment, etc. is a little more than this neat freak can handle, but I’m coping. I sort of feel like our family/TV room has been turned into an obstacle course.

Did anyone else have a panic attack looking at this? Don't worry, this was when we had pulled out all of the equipment that we were given to inventory it, so most of this stuff isn't normally out. But a good portion of it is... eek.


- Waking up at 5:15 every morning

- Seeing the daycare tuition come out of our bank account each week, although of course the munchkins are well worth it!

So what are you loving/not loving at the moment?

Monday, July 15, 2013

What I'm eating this week

Not the world's most thrilling topic, I know, but (a) this makes for an easy blog post and (b) I actually think it's interesting to see what real people that I "know" cook at home (as opposed to robots) (or people with Pinterest-perfect lives) (which are basically the same as robots).

I think I've mentioned this before, but Brian and I are totally lame practical and frugal, so we make one meal for the week (usually prepared on Sundays) and eat it for dinner Monday-Thursday night. Advantages are that it's cost-effective, easy, and takes up less time - all of which are extra important now that Colby & Clara have joined the family. Disadvantages are that we eat the same meal 4 nights in a row, but honestly, that doesn't really bother us much, so it works out well.

SO here's what we are having for dinner this week:

Low Fat Baked Ziti with Spinach

This totally awesome picture is mine but the recipe comes from skinnytaste.com. You can also find it on my "Dinner Time" board on Pinterest.

If I was feeling a little more motivated, I would have gotten some bread and maybe a side salad to go with it. But I didn't. So basically we will pop 2 servings in the microwave when we get home from work each night and shovel them in our mouths while hoping that our free babysitter the Praise Baby DVD keeps the babies entertained for a few minutes.

We've had this meal before and really liked it. And please note that while we are most definitely not vegetarians, this would be a good meatless meal option if you're looking for one!

And this week I also got a little crazy and decided to forego my usual turkey sandwich and try out something new for lunch. (Yes, I take my lunch to work every day, and yes, I eat the same thing every day for a week. See above for my reasoning.)

Crispy Chicken Salad Wraps

Source: abitchinkitchen.blogspot.com via Amanda on Pinterest (pinned on my "Lunch ideas" board)

I'll be having this with a Gala apple (organic, because I am from Austin after all) and a bag of Baked Lay's (I got the variety pack because clearly I'm a fan of changing things up). Oh and I will also eat some type of dessert, which usually consists of whatever cookies we have at home and any candy that I can convince my co-workers to give me.

So there you have it. I'm sorry for not including my breakfast recipes, but if you can buy a box of peanut butter Multi-grain Cheerio's and alternate that with an english muffin and cottage cheese, then you're good to go.

Have a great (and tasty) week!

Friday, July 12, 2013

More of life lately

- The babies had their first adventure in the pool a couple of weeks ago! Ok so it was a plastic baby pool in the front yard, but still. They wore swimsuits and got wet so it counts.



I put this one on facebook... Colby doing his best Gene Simmons impression


We made Colby wear a silly hat, too, and mean Mommy tied it in a bow so it made him look extra girly... oops.

We have a public pool in our neighborhood but I decided there are just too many people (and therefore too many cooties) to take the babies there this summer, so we thought this might be a safer alternative. The babies’ friend, Hayes, and his mommy and daddy came to join us, which was fun because Hayes is a few months older and actually able to sit up and play with toys. Colby & Clara, on the other hand, just sort of sat there (assisted) and stared at the water… they aren’t the world’s most exciting playmates at the moment but they’re working on it.


Contrary to what it looks like, Hayes and Colby were not about to fight each other.


The water was pretty cold, which seemed to bother Clara for all of 30 seconds before they both decided they were ok with it. We sat them in there for half an hour or so, which was apparently all the activity they could handle because shortly thereafter they both fell asleep in our arms and continued to nap for another 1.5 hours on the beach towel. Baby pool for the win!



-  Colby and Clara celebrated their first 4th of July! Being that it was on a Thursday and both Brian and I had to work on Wednesday and Friday, there wasn’t exactly room to make big plans. We drove to La Grange to spend the day with Brian’s family and were back at home by 6 that night. 


Thanks, Auntie Shannon, for this super cute shot of Clara smiling:



We wanted to pick up Rudy’s so at least we’d enjoy a patriotic BBQ dinner, but a 45-minute wait time + cranky babies = ain’t nobody got time for that. So we ate leftovers, put the babies to bed, and went to bed ourselves. And it was a good thing we did because they were up bright and early at 3:45 am to get the next day started. One day when they’re teenagers, we have big plans to return the favor :)

- Brian was rapping the words to a Beastie Boys song to Colby the other day in an effort to keep him from crying. Not sure which is weirder: the fact that he did this, or the fact that it worked.

- And in related news, Brian has decided to name the owls on the wall above the babies’ changing table  (seen here) after the characters on Friday Night Lights. So instead of asking Clara if she’s staring at the owls while she’s getting her diaper changed, he instead asks her if she’s looking at Buddy, Lila, Tim, Coach Taylor, Jules, etc. He’s a strange one, that daddy of theirs, but they sure do love him (and so do I), so we'll keep him :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

On going back to work

As of today, I have officially been back at work for 1.5 weeks. Last week was a nice warm-up because my office closed early on Wednesday and we were off on Thursday for the 4th, so we were able to ease into the new routine somewhat.

I realize this is just the beginning, but this working mom thing is exhausting. Part of that is because I’m getting less sleep, and part of that is because having to be “on” all day at work and then coming home and taking care of two infants (along with the help of my trusty sidekick, of course) is just tiring. Regardless, we are all adjusting and thankfully finding a new normal is happening more quickly than I anticipated.

Daycare is going well so far. I cried when we dropped them off on their first day but surprisingly haven’t cried since! I still miss them and am anxious to see them at the end of the day, but knowing they are being well taken care of and making new “friends” helps. They are apparently napping and eating without any major issues which is about all you can ask for at this age.

A few other fun facts/observations from the transition:
- Pumping/storing milk/preparing 6 bottles/cleaning 6 bottles + pumping parts every day = almost like having another full-time job

- My feet are sore from wearing heels again. My arms are sore from carrying car seats, their daycare bag, my pump, my work bag, and my purse every day. My jaw is sore from clenching it all night worrying that the babies will wake up before it’s time for us to wake them up.* So right now I feel like an elderly person. A highly stressed elderly person.

- I wore pants that buttoned for the first time in 9+ months last week. Fortunately they did fit, but weren't nearly as comfortable as my maternity leave attire!

- I do not know how single parents do it, nor do I know how women with unhelpful husbands do it! I would surely have thrown in the towel already if I didn’t have as much help from Brian as I do… and cookies. He makes sure there is a steady supply of those available for consumption at all times and for that I am eternally grateful.

*We have gotten lucky a few nights and the babies have slept straight from 8:15 pm until we woke them up at 6:15 am. We have also gotten unlucky a few nights and they have woken up around 4 am, leaving just enough time for me to not go back to sleep until my 5:15 alarm. Special.

All in all, the transition has been easier than I expected. But like I said, I still miss the babies. A lot. And only getting to see them awake for 2 or so hours a day is hard. I will say, however, that at the end of a long work day, there is nothing better than seeing their faces when we pick them up at day care! I would have said "smiling faces," but they are typically in a daze at that point in the day, so they aren't so much smiling as they are looking tired and confused... but still cute, of course :)

Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement, and thanks in advance for understanding if my blogging is sporadic for a while!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Three months!

Where to begin? Oh yes, I went back to work. And it was not fun. But we have survived a whole week so far! More on that later, however, because for now there are more pressing matters at hand, namely that Colby and Clara turned 3 months old on Friday!

Colby has continued to be our little chunky monkey. We haven't weighed them since their 2-month check-up and won't again until their 4-month check-up, but he is definitely still heavier than his little sis and has often been described as feeling "dense" when people pick him up.


He really has a generally happy disposition, and is very smiley and expressive. As I mentioned before, however, he has also mastered the art of pouting and will gladly demonstrate that skill if he's especially tired or hungry.

Colby is still a big fan of tummy time and while we only let him sleep on his stomach during supervised naps, I am fairly certain he will be a stomach sleeper at night once he's able to roll over. Other things Colby loves: eating, the ceiling fan in their nursery, practicing his standing skills, and swatting at things. 

Colby's current nicknames: the Colby guy, Chunk, Lump/Lumpy, Buddy


Clara is still our petite little miss, but she is definitely still packing on the pounds (or ounces, at least).


She has gotten more smiley but is still more cautious and serious than her brother. We like to say that Colby has a very tender heart and Clara has a more discerning heart... it will be interesting to see if that continues as they get older!


Clara is still a big fan of the pink bird on her bouncer, perching herself on people's shoulders and looking around, and has recently become somewhat obsessed with a painting we have on the wall in the TV room. Oh, and in case it wasn't obvious from the two pictures above, she is also pretty tight with her green froggy pacifier.

Clara's current nicknames: Lady, Misses, Baby Girl, Littlest






And my personal favorite: 

Eating: nursing every 3-3.5 hours during the day (taking pumped bottles at daycare)
Sleeping: They can and do often sleep from 8 pm-6 am, but at least a couple of nights a week, one of them will still wake up between 3:30-4:30 am to eat (which means we wake the other one up to eat, too).
Clothes: Clara can still fit in some newborn sized clothes, but has grown out of a lot of them. Colby is in 3 month clothes and filling them out quickly!

We are obviously biased, but we think Colby and Clara are the cutest, sweetest, most wonderful babies on the planet and consider ourselves very lucky to be their mommy and daddy. Happy 3 months, little ones!