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Monday, April 28, 2014

New week, new look

As a reminder, make sure to enter our double baby blanket giveaway through Thursday of this week!

Oh, and as you probably noticed, the ol' blog got a new look! It's nothing fancy (read: I'm too cheap to pay someone to do it so I just did a basic DIY makeover), but it works.

You will all be proud to hear that I have continued on with my efforts to start exercising again. I even did the first day of the Couch 2 5K workout yesterday, which means I ran for the first time in almost 2 years. Which means I definitely need new running shoes.

You will probably not be proud to hear that I consumed a DQ blizzard for dinner on Saturday night. At least it wasn't in addition to dinner? It was, however, in addition to the cupcake, 2 breakfast tacos, and bagel I consumed at Davis's birthday party that morning. Oops.

And speaking of Davis's birthday party, we made a very quick roundtrip drive to Austin and back to make an appearance. Because I'm basically the cliche frazzled working mom these days, I managed to usher us all out of the house without grabbing the twins' diaper bag, which included their food, shoes, wipes, and yes, diapers. I hate giving into stereotypical behavior, but seriously, my mind was a steel trap before these babies came along and now it feels more like a bowl of oatmeal. Functional, but mushy.

And (sort of) on that note, the babies have started to come home with crafts more often now that they're in their new classroom at daycare. And while I love anything that my babies make (except dirty diapers) (and let's be honest, the teachers create these crafts and put the babies' names on them), I do not love clutter. Enter the ArtKive app on my iPhone! Basically this app lets you take pictures of your kids' artwork and archive it on your phone. You can sort it by child (if you have more than one) and age, and you can even it turn it into a book.

Now don't get me wrong- I'll keep some of the actual crafts/artwork because I'm not a heartless robot (like Allison… kidding, sis!) (but seriously, she probably even threw away her own wedding invitation), but this helps me not feel as guilty about throwing away some of the less special pieces.

So there you go, there's your PSA and app recommendation for the day. You're welcome.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A double giveaway!

Today, Allison and I want to introduce you to a cute new blanket & quilt shop called Cherry Creek Co. It just so happens to be run by our super creative aunt (Nancie) and her friend (Cherrilla), who have been friends for 40 years since they met while studying abroad in Mexico. They have stayed in touch all these years, and recently decided to combine their artistic talents to create this little business. It's a good thing they did, because now you have a new go-to place for unique, handmade blankets and quilts!

Allison and I were lucky enough to be recipients of a couple of their everyday blankets, and while we love the designs of ours, we were impressed with all the colorful options they have. So much more exciting than your standard pink or blue baby blanket! We also love that they are lightweight (not much need for heavy blankets here in Texas!), easy to wash, and the perfect size for everyday use.

And we have good news for y'all today... TWO lucky readers from our blogs are going to win an everyday blanket or burrito wrap of their choice from Cherry Creek Co!

Each person can earn up to 3 entries by doing the following:
(Please note that we are tracking all comments on Allison's blog, so I have closed the comments on mine!)

1. Visit the Etsy shop and leave a comment on Allison's post specifying which blanket/wrap you would choose.

2. "Favorite" the Etsy shop and leave a comment on Allison's post letting us know you have done so.

3. "Like" their facebook page and leave a comment on Allison's post letting us know you have done so.

This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents (our apologies to readers in Canada and elsewhere... we still love you!). 

You have until 12:00pm CST on Thursday, May 1st to enter, and then the winners will be announced on Friday, May 2nd. So get to it!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Life and times of the Joiners

It's safe to say that recent weeks have brought about plenty of picture-worthy blogging material… the twins' birthday party, bluebonnets, Easter, etc. In between the photo opps, however, there has been plenty of real life going on as well. And although none of it has been catastrophic or even hugely significant, it has still felt like a lot at once and for my own benefit, I'm going to 
unload share what's going on with us:

- I realized I never shared their stats after their one year check-up, so here you go:
Weight: 19 lbs, 7 oz (20th percentile)
Length: 28.7" (11th percentile)
Head: 18.3" (59th percentile)

- At the same check-up, we also found out that he had an ear infection, which meant 10 days on antibiotics. Also at the same check-up, he had bloodwork done (which he handled like a champ!) that determined he was anemic. So now we are back to giving him a daily multivitamin drop with iron.

Thanks to the antibiotic and iron combo, he's had a lot going on in the diaper department which has resulted in an ongoing diaper rash. Special.

- He has been officially weaned, which has gone better for him than I anticipated, but he still has zero interest in milk. 

- He is standing on his own for limited periods of time and has attempted a step here and there, but is definitely not walking yet. I am a-ok with this most of the time, but occasionally I compare them to the other babies we know around their age that are already walking and start to worry that they're both "behind" (whatever that means).

- He yells. A lot. Especially at meal time. It is really frustrating and embarrassing (when there's an audience) and tests my patience like nothing else. I still can't figure out if our best response is to firmly tell him 'no' to get his attention, or just ignore him completely. Figuring out how to effectively discipline a one-year-old is really fun. And by 'fun,' I mean mind-numbingly aggravating.

- Minus the yelling, he really has become a laid back little boy. He doesn't cry unless he's hurt or really tired, and although he is still fond of showcasing his blank stare, has a smile on his face more often than not these days.

Weight: 19 lbs, 3 oz (39th percentile)
Length: 28.5" (24th percentile)
Head: 17.5" (37th percentile)

- At their check-up, we found out that Clara has a mild case of ringworm (just a small patch on her stomach). She also had bloodwork done (which was terrible and required a second finger prick, both of which took about 800 years and traumatized her) that determined she was anemic. So we are giving her a daily multivitamin with iron as well, but she hates it. So every day we are having to attempt a new way to give it to her that won't end in a meltdown. Suggestions welcome.

Again, thanks to the iron, she has had an ongoing diaper rash that even started to bleed at one point (gross, I know). 

- She, too, has been officially weaned and could not care less. She has definitely taken to milk and will gladly finish off any that Colby leaves behind (which is any that we offer him).

- She is not even close to walking and has the balance of a drunken sailor. Again, I know she'll get there, but I can't help but feel like we are doing something wrong that's keeping her from making more progress. I have the same insecurities about pretty much anything else that they don't do on time or ahead of schedule. I had it in my head that my children would be ahead of the curve on everything (because why wouldn't they?!) so it has been humbling to find out that they are humans that develop at their own pace and not robots. Who knew?

- She also has started yelling, although not as much. What she lacks in yelling, however, she makes up for in crying and tantrums. Throw in the fact that she has been teething (4 new ones in a matter of a few weeks!), and she is not quite as easygoing as she used to be!

- Her new favorite place to be is in our laps. If we're sitting around while they play with their toys, she will crawl to whoever's lap is available and spend most of her time there. Not gonna lie- it is pretty darn sweet.

- I will spare you my weight, length, and head circumference stats.

- I don't have any random illnesses or diaper rash, thankfully.

- I am officially done nursing and I have really been surprised about the whole process. Physically, it has been easier than I thought. A little discomfort with each dropped feeding, but nothing terrible. Emotionally, it has been a little harder than I thought. I hope you won't all think I'm crazy for admitting this, but I cried after I finished for the last time, and again the next night after putting them to bed. I think it's just hard coming to terms with the fact that they really aren't "babies" anymore and they aren't going to need me like they used to!

- I am relieved to report that my appetite (which was akin to that of Michael Phelps while training for the Olympics) has returned to normal. My eating habits have not completely returned to normal (I'm looking at you, Reese's Easter eggs), but they're getting there. And to compensate, I have started working out again. I am really out of shape and let's just say there are lots of parts that jiggle more than they used to. You're welcome for that visual. Let's also just say that I got out of breath during the first 60 seconds of the warm-up for The 30-Day Shred workout. 

- Other than allergies, no ailments for him these days either. Although his allergies can be somewhat detrimental because in case I haven't mentioned it, this guy sneezes in series of 4-5 sneezes at a time. Those of you that are married can probably relate to the fact that his sneezes make me irrationally irritated.

- I asked him if there's anything else I should include for his update, but he said there wasn't really anything to mention and that he's just keeping on keeping on. Which is the fundamental difference between him and me: if he has nothing going on, he keeps his mouth shut. If I have nothing going on, I will still find 8,000 words to write about it.

And on that note, I'll wrap this up. Thanks for indulging me and feel free to comment with the insignificant life happenings that are consuming YOUR brain today so I can return the favor!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter weekend

The twins were born the Friday after Easter last year, so this year was actually their first one to celebrate (outside the womb, that is)! We hit the road on Friday for Brian's grandparents' ranch in La Grange and stayed there until heading back home on Saturday afternoon. 

The last time we spent the night at the ranch was for Thanksgiving, which coincidentally was when Colby's sleeping issues were at their worst (and therefore so was my attitude about life). So we were all very thankful that both babies napped and slept great while we were there this time! 

We also decided to buy a couple of these portable high chairs to bring with us and they quickly proved a worthy investment:

You know what would also be a worthy investment? A chain that kept these sippy cups permanently attached to my children's hands so that they wouldn't throw them on the ground EVERY SINGLE TIME THEY TAKE A DRINK. Seriously. If I have to pick up once more intentionally grounded sippy cup, I might lose my mind.

Anyway, the twins had a lot of fun playing with everyone and being the center of attention, and Brian and I had a lot of fun letting other people hold them and entertain them for a change. Holidays are good for that kind of thing :)

Brian's sister very kindly snapped a few family pictures for us on Saturday before we left. Something about the lighting makes the babies' hair look reddish but I assure you it isn't in real life:

Love how they are looking at each other in this one!

Clara inherited the "easily amused" gene from her daddy, which is very helpful for pictures!

Smiles from all 4 of us… an Easter miracle!

We made it back home in time for the 4:30 service at our church on Saturday afternoon, and decided to make a quick stop at Chick-fil-a for dinner after the service. 

Don't they look like they're having a pleasant time? Well don't be fooled, because the next 10 minutes were terrible. They were both yelling, Colby refused to stay in his high chair, Clara ripped a napkin to shreds and then cried after stuffing some of it her mouth (because apparently napkins don't taste awesome), neither of them would eat much of their food, they threw their sippy cups onto the ground no less than 15 times each, and Brian accidentally spilled their chocolate milk (which they both refused to drink anyway) all over the table.

I think I inhaled my chicken wrap in about 3 bites and stuffed my waffle fries in my mouth while walking out to the car. Clearly we have some work to do in teaching the children about the joys of dining at Chick-fil-a. 

The Easter bunny came on Sunday morning and left the babies some essentials: matching stuffed bunnies, personalized labels (for daycare), new sippy cups, puffs, (HEB brand, because we're fancy like that), and "A Very Veggie Easter" DVD set.

We enjoyed Easter lunch at Pappasitos, which was great because the service was really fast, it was loud enough to drown out any of Colby & Clara's yelling (do you notice a theme here?), and the food was yummy as always.

We followed lunch up with Easter cookies from Whole Foods so that we could sit outside by the fountain and enjoy the pretty weather:

Sissy sneaking some of Colby's cookie

Love these two little midgees

And there you have it. I don't even want to think about how long we have to wait until the next 3-day weekend… so I'm not going to. Hope you all had a happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Life lately, as dictated by my iPhone

Believe it or not, there are actually some pictures I take with my phone that don't end up on facebook or Instagram. And here's proof:

When Clara was first born, we often referred to her as "Ducky" because she was constantly making a duck face with her lips. She has since dropped that habit, but in its place, she tends to hold items together with her lips, still resembling a duck bill. Behold her approach to eating a cracker at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago:

In the summer of 2012, my parents moved out of their house and as a result, unloaded several boxes of my childhood belongings (read: junk) at my house. Not surprisingly, one of those boxes was full of stuffed animals, so I went through it and decided to keep some for future children and give the rest away.

Brian, however, jokingly rescued 2 of the stuffed cats from the giveaway pile and insisted that Baby Dinosaur wanted to keep them as pets since we didn't have a real cat to play with. They were promptly named "Mittens" and "Scruffles" and became permanent residents in our home, despite my wishes otherwise.

When the twins were born, we occasionally tried to get them to play with "Scruffs and Mitts," but they never took much interest. At some point, Scruffs ended up in Colby's crib, and from there, a friendship flourished.

It is not uncommon for us to look into the monitor at nap time now and see Colby flailing Scruffs in the air or clapping his arms together, and even though I didn't use to be Scruffs's biggest fan, I changed my tune once I realized how much Colby seemed to like him.

So just imagine how much my love for Scruffs grew when we found Colby asleep in his crib like this a couple of weeks ago...

And speaking of pets, I loved this (blurry) action shot of our 4 little ones playing together:

This was Brian after we put the twins to bed the night before their birthday, assembling their Cozy Coupes and tricycles. My parents lovingly pointed out that we better get ready because this is what Christmas Eve will look like at our house for many years to come! Good thing Brian likes that kind of thing ;)

Took the twins to their one-year check-up on Friday and Colby took great interest in the fish tank:

Loved this picture of mine and Clara's shoes together. Why are they on the coffee table, you ask? Because if we leave them on the floor, that gives the twins full permission to use them as chew toys.

And lastly, after we took pictures with the Easter Bunny last weekend, Clara could not take her eyes off of that bunny. She was clapping, giggling, and waving at him while he was taking pictures with other kids. This picture doesn't do her enthusiasm justice, but I do like the fact that you can see the Easter Bunny taking a break to put his face in front of the fan- I don't blame him, it was toasty in there even without having a rabbit suit on!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring has sprung

9 days later and I think we have finally recovered from the twins' birthday! I think I was mostly running on fumes and leftover birthday cupcakes last week, which might explain why I slept for 9.5 hours on Saturday night and still had a hard time rolling out of bed the next morning.

Before I move on to new topics, it is worth mentioning that for the first (and probably last) time ever, a reader asked where my outfit that I wore at the birthday party was from. I couldn't e-mail her directly and I didn't want to deny the rest of you this important information, so here goes:

*What's funny is that my mom bought these for me… so technically they are her daughter's jeans.

Moving along, it was nice to have a "free" weekend that did not consist of cutting out banner flags, painting wooden letters, or bundling pieces of chalk together. Those of you who know me, however, will not be surprised to learn that I took advantage of said "free" weekend by crossing off as many items on my ridiculous-but-necessary to do list as possible. 

Ridiculous-but-necessary To Do List:
- update baby books with latest milestones & monthly updates (Relatedly, does anyone else feel like they need to be an actual dentist in order to fill out the chart of when each tooth comes in? How the crap am I supposed to know the difference between a central incisor and a cuspid?!)
- take pictures of the babies in the bluebonnets
- visit the Easter Bunny
- upload the 800 thousand pictures we've taken in the past month onto Shutterfly

Thankfully the bluebonnet pictures went well, minus the fact that the ugly brown towel we brought for them to sit on showed up in every picture:

This was the first pic we took and it ended up being the best! Just love these smiley little nuggets.

In a rare turn of events, Colby was actually being the more enthusiastic of the two...

I wish arm fat rolls were that cute on adults!

Just wanted to showcase Clara's special wispy hair here.

Our friends, the Cruikshanks, joined us and even took some family pics for us:

Can you tell it was bright outside?

Unfortunately the twins' best buddy, Hayes, was not as excited about cooperating for pictures as they were (which is rare, because this is the most easygoing kid you will ever meet):

Love this pic of my little guy standing with his daddy:

Clara looking like a disheveled mess, as usual:

And had to share this shot of Hayes after he jacked Clara's snack cup and had basically given up on life for the morning:

To maintain the weekend's theme of cliche Spring activities, we decided to take a visit to the Easter Bunny on Sunday, which ended up being about as unenjoyable as expected one week before Easter (long line, slow service, antsy babies). Nonetheless, we persevered and ended up with this gem:

Happy (?) Easter from Colby & Clara!

Monday, April 7, 2014

First birthday party

Yes, it's true, I'm now officially the mom of two one-year-olds! The party went off without a hitch on Saturday and we had a great day celebrating, so it's safe to say the twins' first birthday was a success. It's also safe to say that all 4 of us are a special kind of exhausted, but I suppose that's to be expected.

A big thanks (as always) to Allison for playing photographer so that I didn't have to mess with taking pictures. 

We started off the morning by giving them the presents we got them: cozy coupes! So far they have only tested them out in the house, but they seem to like them:

My parents were staying with us so we went ahead and gave Colby and Clara their presents from them as well: Radio Flyer 4-in-1 trikes! I think these are pretty cool and kind of want one for myself... think Brian would mind pushing all 3 of us on our way to the park?

After breakfast (special french toast made by their sweet daddy) and their morning naps, it was party time!

The theme for the party was the letter 'c' and the colors were pink, blue, and yellow. 

Birthday banners from this etsy shop

And of course, all the food started with the letter 'c,' as well!

chicken nuggets

(mini) corn dogs

cheese & crackers + carrots, cauliflower, celery, & cherry tomatoes (courtesy of my MIL!)
(you can also see the vase full of Cheerios in the background- those were the centerpieces on the rest of the tables along with painted wooden letter 'c's)

cookies (the greatest ones ever that my mom brought from this place in Dallas)

cupcakes (courtesy of Allison!)

cherry limeade (recipe here)

and of course, "cold" water and capri suns... in a cooler - the 'c's just keep coming!

The party favors (amidst their gifts!) were chalk (which Colby actually tried to eat at one point).

And the only organized activity was corn hole - Brian actually made the boards himself and I made the bean bags. Thank you, pinterest!

We had the party at a pavilion in our neighborhood that is thankfully right next to the playground, so there was plenty of this going on as well:

set-up for the guests of honor

And speaking of those guests, Colby & Clara arrived in their chariot and were clearly very thrilled to get the party started :) My mother-in-law made their cute outfits and I was so happy with how they turned out!

Family pic

Hard to believe these two both fit in my tummy together just one short year ago!

One of my best pals, Kristen, and I were matching almost perfectly, completely on accident! 

Allison and Avery, aka: my hired (free)

Franny (my mom), Clara, and her ducky :)

Mimi (Brian's mom), Aunt Shannon, and Franny

Pop Pop (my dad) and my grandparents

Colby & Clara with Brian's grandparents- these 2 are pretty fortunate to have 5 living great grandparents!

Two of my sweet co-workers, Megan (with her daughter, Kate) and Heather, with me and the birthday girl

In the middle of the party, Colby stood unsupported for the first time, totally out of nowhere! Unfortunately he would not repeat the trick for the camera, but you get the idea.

Brittany, Georgia Kate, Clara, and me - Georgia Kate and Clara are going to be roommates and pledge sisters at A&M :)

And then it was time to sing!

Cute bibs from this etsy shop; cute babies from my womb 

In the middle of singing- love how Colby has his hands over his ears here!

They both sat and stared at the cupcakes (banana foster flavor) for a second and then Colby grabbed his with both hands and shoved it right in his face. He then (over a period of about 20 minutes) proceeded to polish off every last bite of it, and was even holding it in his mouth and sucking on it at one point. I think it's safe to say he liked it :)

Sweet Clara was not so interested. She had maybe one bite and then melted down until we removed her from the situation!

See what I mean? Homeboy loved that thing.

Hanging out with their best buddy, Hayes, while we cleaned up- guess he didn't get the memo about going shirtless in the wagon ;)

After the party, we headed home and put the babies down for a nap. Clara went to sleep but a certain someone was on a bit of a sugar high and spent the entire 1.5 hours playing in his crib. Fortunately, the lack of sleeping did not damper his spirits for the remainder of the day!

My family and Brian's family stuck around to watch the babies open presents- it is safe to say these are two very loved and very spoiled little babies!

Miraculously Aunt Shannon caught all 4 of us smiling in this one!

My friend, Kristen, got Clara this book called Clara, the Cookie Fairy!

Colby was very interested in Clara's baby doll stroller

So much to see and play with...

Peekaboo, I see you!

Trying to figure out the whole puzzle concept

And then apparently Clara gave up and just decided to treat the puzzle piece like a pacifier.

Thought this one was cute of them sitting back-to-back and scoping out their loot.

We ended the day with dinner out with Brian's parents/sister and my parents. The babies were in good moods and we managed to go the entire day without any major meltdowns or disasters, which is a very rare thing indeed when two one-year-olds are involved!

A big thank you to everyone that helped make Colby and Clara (and their parents) feel so special on Saturday- we are so very thankful that so many people love these babies so much!

(Re-posted on 3/10/15 via the Twin Talk Blog 1st birthday link-up!)