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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Would You Rather Wednesday: Date Edition

So I know I said I was steering clear of WYRW, but this week I need your assistance. Brian's sister has graciously agreed to babysit for us on Saturday evening so that we can go out to an early dinner before the twins' bedtime.

As you are likely aware, we don't get out much these days, so we'd like to go somewhere fun. We would also, however, like to go somewhere close by so as to maximize our time away and not spend half of it driving into town.

So with these things in mind, if you were us, would you rather go to dinner at:

Churrasco's (Latin American food)


Guru Burger (burgers + crepes)


Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co. (pizza + waffles, duh)?

Aaaaaaaaaaand GO.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Things I really enjoy lately

- Not showering at least one day on the weekend. I have convinced myself that I've earned it by showering and looking presentable during the week at work. And with the number of times I wear my hair in a ponytail (and not in a cute, trendy one), I'm probably being a little generous by using the term "presentable."

- Eating everything in sight and then lamenting the fact that I've eaten everything in sight. And then to cheer myself up from all of the lamenting, I eat some more to make myself feel better. I should write a book about healthy eating habits and how to properly deal with one's emotions.

- Planning the twins' birthday party. I know I mentioned the other day that party-planning is "in full effect," but I don't know that I've adequately admitted to my obsession publicly. I spent more than 2 hours picking out bibs on etsy this weekend. Thankfully, I found some that are perfect from this shop, but that's 2+ hours of my life that I will never get back. And never mind the fact that they will wear the bibs for all of a few minutes.

- Not setting my alarm clock on the weekends. This is related to the first point above, but I cannot fully explain the feeling of freedom I experience when I turn the alarm clock switch to "off" on Friday nights.

-Nap time. This requires no explanation. I realize I am only a SAHM 2 days a week, but those 2 days are pretty exhausting (as are the other 5, but during the other 5, I (usually) don't have anyone yelling in my ear, wiping snot on my pants, or throwing their sippy cups on the floor 7,000 times in a row).

It is amazing how beneficial it is for all 4 of us when nap time goes well: the babies get some much-needed sleep, Brian gets some much-needed time to play video games, and I get some much-needed time to peruse chevron printed bibs on etsy. Oh, and the dogs even get some much-needed time napping on the floor without someone whacking them with puzzle pieces or running them over with a walker.

- These. Please refer to point #2 above.

- Oh, and these two. They drive me insane sometimes, but they just look so darn cute doing it:

Yes, I realize his buckle is too low. We do our best to pull it all the way up to his armpits and sometimes we fail. Good thing we are perfect at everything else related to parenting, right?

Thankful to report Pink Ellie #2 is doing her job!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Just a few thoughts

- I know I slacked on WYRW yesterday. I think I'm kind of over it, so you may not be seeing that weekly segment anymore. My deepest apologies to those of you that enjoy being forced to arbitrarily decide between two unlikely-to-ever-occur hypothetical situations.My

- If you don't like wasting food, do not have children. Or do have children, but don't plan to feed them. 

- I have decided that the hardest part of being a working mom is that the only awake time I get with my children during weekdays is when we are all at our worst. After a full day of work, I am usually exhausted (and likely a little grumpy). After a full day of daycare, they are usually exhausted (and likely a little grumpy). This is a dangerous combination, usually survived only because of Daddy, the peace-keeping middleman whose patience knows almost no bounds.

- We have decided that this is Clara's theme song (95% of the time):

- Zulily recently sent an e-mail out about its "blow-out" sale. You'd think a company whose target market is moms of young children would choose different wording. 

- My babies turn 1 in 44 days. I don't know how this is possible. Also, party-planning is in full effect. The theme is "the letter 'c,'" so if you have any great ideas to share, please feel free to do so. 

And that is all.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The time I cried over a lost pacifier

Thanks to the Presidents, Brian and I both had the day off yesterday. I know this is the most cliche statement in the world, but I really do wish every weekend was a 3-day weekend. It allowed us to get everything done but still have some extra time to actually, oh, you know, ENJOY OURSELVES.

Valentine's Day was definitely different than in years past (for two little 10-month-old sized reasons), but an enjoyable one nonetheless. Brian left mysteriously to "fill up the truck with gas" after I went to bed on Thursday night, and as a result, I woke up Friday morning to this:

That would be breakfast, flowers, an assortment of treats, and not one, but two cards- one from Brian and one from Colby, of course :)

And yes, we made sure to deck Colby and Clara out in festive Valentine's Day attire (shirts read "my heart belongs to daddy" and "mr. right"):

Brian took a half day of vacation on Friday afternoon, so we took advantage of the "free" childcare (read: already paid for) provided by the twins' daycare and enjoyed a lunch/shopping date before picking them up that afternoon. And you can imagine my excitement when I found these waiting for us in their daycare bag:

Personally, I was really impressed with the babies'  crafting skills, and had no idea they knew how to use a laminator! 

We finished the day with dinner at home - chicken and salad for us, quesadillas and black beans for the bambinos. I can assure you it was just as romantic as you might imagine!

 After the twins went to sleep, we ate dessert and watched Revolutionary Road, which turned out to be a terrible and depressing selection. After this and watching The Cider House Rules a few weeks ago, we have officially had our fill of movies ending in botched abortion attempts. Shame on me for expecting any movie with Kate and Leo to be as amazing as Titanic, I guess.

Saturday was filled with a birthday party (pictures below) and church. Thankfully we didn't get paged to come pick up inconsolable child(ren) during the service, but the nursery volunteer did point out (nicely, at least) that Colby has a habit of screaming whenever he sees something that he wants until he gets it (particularly if someone else has it). We are sadly already very aware of this fact, as is his sister, the most frequent victim.

On Sunday morning, I headed to the grocery store alone during the babies' nap time and jokingly bragged about my leisurely escape on Facebook. Well apparently pride really does come before the fall because we took a trip to Target later that afternoon with the babies and it was a NIGHTMARE.

It started off innocently enough with us trying out the double seated cart:

Don't they look happy and cute? NOT FOR LONG.

About 10 minutes into the trip, we noticed Clara's beloved wubbanub pacifier ("Pink Ellie") was missing. We started to retrace our steps in the very limited area we had covered in the store, but were having no luck. At about the same time, both babies started melting down, and so did I.

It probably would have been wise for us to just leave the few items we had already put in the cart and call the trip a wash, but there were a few things we really needed (I'm looking at you, massive box of diapers) and I was not interested in having to return later in the day. I was also intent on finding that pacifier. It was not pretty, and let's just say I left the store sweating and regretting several choice words that I used very loudly inside the store.

Once we got to the car and the reality set in that we weren't going home with Pink Ellie, I started crying. Clara was completely fine and happily accepted the back-up pacifier without skipping a beat. I, however, was mumbling through tears about how I had let her down, it was all my fault, and how Pink Ellie was special to me, too. I literally had a montage of videos/pictures of Clara with Pink Ellie playing in my head. What is wrong with me?! Hopefully some of you can relate to this slightly less than rational reaction… anyone?

Needless to say, we quickly located a store nearby that sold the same pacifier and procured one that evening. Brian told Clara (as if she had any clue what was going on) that Pink Ellie spent the afternoon at the spa and that if she seemed different, it was because she was refreshed and relaxed from her time away. And that is why I love him.

Anyway, I guess it's a good thing we had that extra day off yesterday so we could all recover from the trauma. The babies even did us a favor and celebrated the holiday by "sleeping in" until 8 am. (We were later punished for this by Colby taking terrible naps and behaving like a wild banshee at the end of the day, but oh well).

Happy Tuesday-that-feels-like-a-Monday, everyone!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine wishes

First, a sentimental Valentine's Day wish for my wonderful husband, Brian:

And second, a festive picture from two babies that have stolen our hearts :) 

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Would You Rather Wednesday

Sorry for skipping out on last week's WYRW (but not that sorry). For those that were left wondering, camo won by a landslide in the last post. I'll give someone $5 to wear that camo dress out in public and provide photographic evidence… any takers?

And now, in the spirit of the winter Olympics, would you rather…

have to compete in pairs' figure skating with no clothes on


have to compete in downhill skiing blindfolded?

Things to consider:
- For option 1 and 2, we're assuming your current physical condition/appearance.
- For option 1, your partner would be fully clothed, making it even more awkward/apparent that you were in the nude.
- For option 1, you would probably end up severely embarrassed.
- For option 2, you would probably end up severely injured.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Let's pretend it's Monday (minus the Monday part)

Please pardon my tardiness in posting about the fact that one of my blog BFFs, Erika, and her husband Matt came to visit last week! They concocted some story about being here to celebrate her grandmother's 90th birthday, but between you and me, I'm pretty sure they came with the primary purpose of visiting us. Let's just hope Erika's grandmother doesn't read this blog, or else she'll be sorely disappointed.

Anyway, Erika already blogged about it, and sadly we only got to see them for about 12 hours (7 of which I spent sleeping), but a good time was still had by all. Brian and Matt made every effort to get a decent picture of us, but were not all that successful in the end. The picture below is the best my phone could muster up:

I am not as short as this picture makes me appear but I am as pale as this picture makes me appear. And we are both as awesome as this picture makes us appear.

We're hoping that after spending a few days in Texas and remembering all it has to offer (read: food), Matt and Erika will come to their senses and realize this is where they are actually meant to live. Sorry, Georgia, better luck next time.

They ditched us on Friday and although I was deeply saddened, I had a haircut to cheer me up. Remember how I was supposed to get it cut a few weeks ago? Well the snow-pocalypse ruined my plans and I had to reschedule. As per your suggestions, I went with a long stacked/layered bob. Thanks to the February photo challenge I'm doing on Instagram, I have photographic evidence for you:

Really different and exciting, I know.

Two other highlights from Friday:
1. I got to visit Brittnie and baby Camille (Clara was sleeping so I didn't get to hang out with her, sadly)!
2. When I picked the babies up from daycare, I found Colby wearing these pants:

Apparently he had a blowout and was all out of back-up clothes, so he got to sport a spare pair of girl pants instead- ha! At least they're Valentine's Day-appropriate, right?

The rest of the weekend was spent hanging out with my parents, who made a semi-impromptu trip to visit us for a couple of days. The last time they really got to hang out with Colby and Clara was when Avery was born back in early November, so it was nice for the 4 of them to have some overdue bonding.
Here's my dad, teaching Clara to stick out her tongue- a useful life skill! Sadly, I didn't get any pics of Colby with them :o/

My dad left on Sunday afternoon but my mom stuck around for the night and even babysat while Brian and I were able to escape for a quick but overdue and much-needed solo dinner outing. I really do wish we could get into the habit of having regular date nights (although I sort of hate the term "date night," if we're being honest), but I don't really want to get into the habit of paying a babysitter on a regular basis and there's the minor detail that we don't really have a babysitter on reserve or anything. I know it's a worthy investment in our marriage and blah blah blah, so no lecture needed :)

Anyway, so that was our weekend. We also watched a lot of Olympic coverage (please go watch this if you haven't already) and I ate at least 7,500 cookies that my mom brought from this magical place. Out of curiosity, I weighed myself after the weekend yesterday and wasn't the least bit surprised to find that I gained 3.5 pounds. In fairness to the cookies, tortilla chips also contributed to that. I'm going to be in big trouble when this whole breastfeeding twins diet ends in a couple of months.

And on that note, have a healthy and happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ten months!

Colby and Clara are 10 months old today, and what a busy 10th month it has been! 

Colby's current nicknames: Colby Guy/Colby Guy Man, Buddy/Buddy Guy/Buddy Guy Man, Colbs

I just realized I never updated you with their 9-month appointment stats, but at the time Colby was 17 pounds (10th percentile) and 27.25 inches (11th percentile). So now he's… a little bit bigger and taller than that. How's that for exact?

Colby actually had a pretty great month! He has been napping (hallelujah) and sleeping like a champ, although it usually takes him a good 30 minutes to settle down and actually fall asleep for naps. He usually plays around in his crib and squeals for a bit, and then cries for a minute or two before giving in. Watching him play in his crib through the monitor is highly entertaining, especially when we hear him babbling and realize he's "talking" to his pacifier, blanket, or stuffed animal. 

In the past month, Colby learned to clap, wave, and as I revealed on Monday, (crab) crawl! He has also gotten much better at pulling up and started using the walker to go forward rather than backward. He loves for us to help him walk and is working on his balance. Homeboy will definitely walk before his wobbly little sis. 

Another area of improvement this month (really just in the past couple of weeks) has been his eating habits! Although sometimes he still gets offended by what we put on his tray and yells angrily at us, he is doing a lot better about eating finger foods/things that require chewing. If he's tired or in a bad mood, however, then forget it. At that point we usually just give him a spoon to slam on the tray and work out some of his aggression ;)

His favorite foods so far are yogurt, sweet potatoes, Cheerios, cheese, bread, puffs, and carbohydrates in general. He is starting to tolerate chicken and meat more, but it's still kind of hit or miss. He hates all things green and is especially irritated by peas. 

Colby's current favorites: spoons and straws (particularly the silly straw we keep in his car seat for him to play with), banging toys together, stealing his sister's toys, sitting on Daddy's shoulders, practicing walking, bath time, dancing with Mommy to "Shake," swinging in the front yard, pulling the puzzle pieces off of his play mat, babbling with his sister

Clara's current nicknames: Littlest, Baby Girl, Girly Girl, Messy Misses

As we suspected, Clara actually caught up to Colby last month and was weighing just under 17 pounds herself (29th percentile) and measuring 26.75 inches (16th percentile). Pretty sure she has already surpassed him by now!

Clara continues to be our smiley, happy, crazy nut case, but the biggest change for her this past month has been the DRAMA. I'm pretty sure she is working on getting some teeth (still has ZERO) which is in large part responsible for her newfound fussiness/whininess, but I also think she has just discovered that she is a girl and therefore allowed to be dramatic for no reason. ;)

See what I mean?

Thankfully she is much better at soothing herself than her brother, so typically her Wubbanub and/or sitting in one of our laps will do the trick if she starts to melt down.

She is still eating pretty much anything and everything we put in front of her, and unlike Colby, seems to prefer more colorful foods (read: fruits and vegetables). Her lack of teeth still does not present any issues, but sometimes her overeagerness to stuff everything in her face at one time does!

Clara has also gotten better at pulling up and rolling around but isn't crawling quite yet. She likes to get into the crawling position, lunge forward, and then collapse on the ground. I'm sure she'll get moving soon enough when she finds something worth pursuing. She is also (sort of) clapping and waving, but more importantly, it's safe to say she has said her first two words: "dada" and "da" (for dog)! It's pretty cute, and yes, if you're wondering, Brian is now completely powerless against her.

Clara's current favorites: her Wubbanubs ("Green Froggy" and "Pink Ellie"), the cloth "Thank You Prayer" book, bouncing in the jumperoo, swinging, watching the dogs, babbling with her brother, bath time, the "Shapes Song" video, going to sleep at night (and doing her "happy sleep dance")

Joint pictures were a challenge this month to say the least. I'm very thankful to have these monthly pictures, but I will also be very excited to be finished with them in a couple of months because they send my blood pressure through the roof!!

Here, sissy, let me just hit you with my hammer.

This was the only picture I could get of them both laying down- Clara is like a little torpedo and refuses to stay still! 

Baby prison

Mom, this is terrible! Make the pictures stop and let us out!

Their new normal at-home schedule (dropped a nursing feeding this month and added in a solid!):

7:30 am - wake up and nurse
8 am - solid breakfast
9 am - nap (usually 1.5 hours)
11 am - nurse
12:30 pm - solid lunch
1:30 pm - nap (usually 1.5-2 hours)
3:30 pm - nurse
5:30 pm - solid dinner
7 pm - bedtime routine
7:15 pm - nurse
7:45 pm - both babies are asleep!

We usually sprinkle in a few snacks throughout the day as well.

Happy 10 months, little ones! I can't believe how close you are to 1… eek!

Monday, February 3, 2014

This post brought to you by the Super Bowl

It was an exciting weekend at the Joiner house, that's for sure. Why, you ask? Well let's see:

1. Colby crawled for the first time! He is totally rocking the crab style and is pretty pleased with himself, as evidenced in the video we took on Friday (which Brian added music to, ha):

A few notes:
- Contrary to what Wade thought, no, this video was not filmed in slow motion.
- Contrary to what my friend, Kristen, thought, that baby he's crawling towards is a doll and not Clara.
- Clara hasn't officially joined the crawling club, but fear not, we're pretty sure she's right behind him!

2. All 4 of us wore matching attire on Saturday. (I know, Erika, pretty amazing, right? Twinsies squared? Quadrupletsies? I don't even know.) We really just did it for fun, although we did attend a friend's first birthday party so thankfully we had an opportunity to show ourselves off. Sadly, however, we did not get anyone to take a pic of all 4 of us.

Colby is not impressed.

And now Clara is not impressed. 

3. We took an impromptu trip to the grocery store on both Friday and Saturday evening. I really just wanted to point this out so everyone was aware of how wild and crazy our social lives are. At least we spiced things up a bit by going to Randall's one night and HEB the other.

4. I got together with some of my favorite local twin moms for breakfast on Saturday morning. This is the third time we've gotten together and I'm thankful for it every time we do! It's just nice to talk to other people that are also currently experiencing a similar kind of crazy. (It's also nice to have an excuse to eat cinnamon rolls, bagels, kolaches, fruit, donuts, and a casserole all in one sitting.)

I made this spinach and mozzarella egg bake and it turned out pretty tasty for anyone that's looking for a relatively easy breakfast option! 

5. The twins experienced their first Groundhog Day, their first Puppy Bowl, and their first Super Bowl all in one day yesterday. I know, that's a lot to handle in one day, and it was a little rough in the beginning (45-minute morning nap, I'm looking at you), but in the end, we survived (2-hour afternoon nap, I'm looking at you). We even survived the chaos of dinner/game-watching with 6 adults and 6 children under the age of 3!

6. This has nothing to do with the weekend, but I just uploaded this pic and wanted to share it. We moved the twins over to the big bathtub recently and it has proven to be quite a source of entertainment for them (and us).

(This also shows you how different their hair colors are.)

Remember how we gave them that inflatable duck tub for Christmas and planned to use it for the transition from their infant tubs? Well that didn't work out so well because they are TERRIFIED of the duck. Pretty sure based on the screaming/shaking that took place when we put them in it that they thought it was going to eat them alive. Poor, scared babies, and poor, lonely, unused duck.