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Saturday, May 31, 2014

10 things you should know about the (other) birthday girl

31 years later, our golden birthday has finally arrived! Although not as sweet as the post Allison wrote for me yesterday, I hope you'll be equally entertained by the one I've written in her honor for today. Allow me to share with you 10 things you might not know about the (other) birthday girl:

1. She cried when the calf almost drowned in the movie, City Slickers.

2. She has a very particular system of loading dishes into her dishwasher, and if you mess it up, you will be corrected (and likely chastised).

3. I used to refer to her as "the memory Nazi," because she would always ask me if I remembered something in particular from our childhood, and if I didn't, she insisted that I was "wrong" for not remembering and badgered me into at least pretending to remember.

4. I also used to refer to her as "Wicky the Magic Doughboy," and she referred to me as "Corky Snuffy Barrelmaker," for reasons I cannot recall, but with nicknames that awesome, does the reason even matter?!

5. She probably listened to the song "Torn" on repeat no less than 7,000 times in high school.

6. I cried when the hairdresser put her veil on her before her wedding, at which point she laughed at and made fun of me. Though it sort of surprises me that it turned out this way, I am usually the more sentimental of the two of us.

7. She is very smart, efficient, and reliable, and even though she is great at her current job (staying at home with Davis and Avery), I often wonder what kind of great job she would have if she had stayed in the workforce. And I secretly wish she worked with me so that we could hang out all the time and enjoy being type A together.

8. She decided to go to A&M before I did, and was not very pleased when I informed her I would be joining her. Thankfully her tune changed when she realized I would be a helpful tutor ;)!

9. Before we both stopped drinking soft drinks, she was a big Dr. Pepper drinker. She has, as you all well know, since traded Dr. Peppers for frappuccinos!

10. On our 16th birthday, she came into my room with her underwear on over her clothes dancing to "The Thong Song." I can only hope she'll do the same again this year!

Happy 31st birthday, sissy! I love you!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Just keeping you in the know

Just a few random tidbits that I feel compelled to share with you all:

1. Brian and I both took the "which tv mom would you be most like?" and "which tv dad are you?" quizzes and amusingly enough, he got Cliff Huxtable and I got Clair Huxtable from The Cosby Show. Glad to know our parenting styles are (a) compatible and (b) relatively wholesome. Also glad we didn't end up getting Roseanne and Dan Barr from Roseanne!

2. In case you haven't heard, the first eastern Pacific hurricane of the season has arrived and they named it 'Amanda!' As you might have seen me mention on Facebook, I was pretty proud that it was the strongest May hurricane on record. A record-setting hurricane named after me that occurred during my birthday month? Now that can't be a coincidence.

Clearly my SIL was just as impressed, because I received an e-mail yesterday from her entitled "Hurricane Amanda" and with the following picture attached:

Amazing, right? Glad to know that I was still sporting earrings while wreaking havoc in the ocean. Keeping it classy!

3. In case I haven't mentioned it (several times already) (because I really love birthdays) (sorry I'm not sorry), Allison and I are going to be celebrating our golden birthday on Saturday- 31 on the 31st! In honor of that, allow me to share a picture of us before our 5th birthday party at McDonald's:

It was not actually January, but it was 1988. Can you guess which one is which?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A memorial to Memorial Day

On Memorial Day weekend last year, the twins were 7 weeks old, and we bravely made a roundtrip to Dallas to introduce them to friends and family there. I remember enjoying the weekend, but I also remember being sleep-deprived and crying at one point because I couldn't figure out what I wanted to eat for dinner.

Needless to say, this year the holiday weekend looked a little different! The twins blissfully slept 12 hours each night and I managed to make all decisions regarding meals without shedding a single tear. Oh the difference a year makes!
Memorial Day 2013 vs. Memorial Day 2014

The Olivers came for a quick visit (it's never long enough!), and as usual, fancy pants Allison took all of the pictures with her fancy pants camera, so be sure to check out her blog for better-than-iphone-quality pictures.

The twins had a lot of fun playing with their older cousin, Davis, and did not inflict any permanent damage upon their younger cousin, Avery, so I would call the weekend a success. But with 4 adults and 4 kids aged 3 and under in the house, it's safe to say there was never a dull (or quiet) moment!

And while all of the little ones are missing the fun of having cousins around to play with, I'm missing the fun of having my sister around to indulge in stuffing our faces with me and then go on walks to burn it off. Maybe one day we'll live in the same city and all will once again be right with the world.

Anyway, enough dreaming. Let's take a look at some of the pics:

One of the twins' friends from daycare gave them this inflatable ball pit for their birthday and it has been a big hit with them. Not surprisingly, it was a big hit with Davis, too!

Brian, Colby, Clara, and I have a weekend tradition of walking to the coffee shop at the front of our neighborhood, so we dragged the Olivers along on Sunday morning. Sadly, this selfie with Colby is the only proof I have:

(He was lusting after Davis's kolache, hence the finger-chewing.)

 Clara was enamored with the puzzle piece box her Uncle Wade created, and was very proud of herself for climbing on top of it without any help!

Speaking of Clara, she found herself a new friend this weekend! She was constantly climbing on Allison and snuggling on her shoulder, which she rarely, if ever, does with us. Brian said that basically to Clara, Allison is like mommy except she never tells her 'no' or makes her stop playing to have her diaper changed. Hence the appeal!

We grilled out and busted out the baby pools on Sunday evening, which turned out to be a good decision given the horrendous weather on Memorial Day.

 Love Clara's face here...

She's our messy little misses!

The Olivers left late on Monday morning and after a few quick errands, we were rained in at home for the rest of the day. This would have been much more bearable had Colby not decided to sabotage his afternoon nap, thereby sabotaging his sister's afternoon nap as well. It was a loooong afternoon and evening, which resulted in early bedtime for the twins and an extra piece of dessert for me/extra beer for Brian.

Hope you all enjoyed the long weekend and don't embarrass yourselves by referring to today as Monday too often!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

For a good laugh

I don't have anything really interesting to share today, but I do have an article that is a must read for anyone with a sense of humor. A big thanks to my pal, Kristen, for sending this my way- I was laughing so hard that I cried when I read it, which rarely happens!

How to Raise a Perfect Child

I wanted to include some of my favorite lines, but there were seriously too many to pick from, so please just go read the whole thing.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Fun with and without the babies

Even though Colby appeared to feel a million times better on Friday (and no longer had a fever), he woke up on Saturday completely out of sorts. I don't know if he was still not feeling great or if he just woke up on the wrong side of the crib, but he was offended by anything and everything we did.

He pretty much cried/whined on and off for the duration of Saturday morning, and much like a soldier with PTSD, I was having disturbing flashbacks to the newborn days when he would cry incessantly and I would long to throw myself off of the roof just to escape the sound (I'm kidding) (sort of).

So it's safe to say that the timing couldn't have been better for our first overnight trip away from the twins that evening. It was as if God was making it so appealing to us to leave that we wouldn't be as sad about leaving them. And it worked.

Don't get me wrong, we missed "the littles" and somehow everything we saw/did/ate made us think of them ("What do you think Colby's walk-out song would be if he was a professional baseball player?" "Wouldn't it be fun to watch Clara throw this popcorn all over the people in front of us?" etc.), but we were thankful for the break, and very appreciative of Brian's family taking care of them while we were gone!

We lucked out with great weather for the Astros game (and my albino skin lucked out by seeing the sun for the first time in 800 years), and miraculously, they even won! We enjoyed a peaceful child-free dinner at Gloria's where no one threw drinks on the ground or acted completely offended when offered the same food they had just demanded to be given 5 seconds prior.

The restaurant was in downtown Houston and as such, most of the people eating there were part of the normal downtown crowd, which means Brian and I basically didn't fit in at all. We were too old, too married, too straight, and too responsible for 2 small children to fit the mold. It provided for some interesting people-watching, however, and I was too busy trying to figure out a discrete way to drink the black bean dip with a straw to care about how out of place we were. (Ok I didn't really do that, but I totally would. It's that amazing.)

Our hotel was great and although the decor was nice, shower was fancy, etc., the most important thing I can note about our stay there was that we slept for 9.5 hours without any interruptions. And when we woke up, no one was crying or needing a diaper change. 

We enjoyed another peaceful breakfast before heading back to the house to reunite with the gremlins. Yesterday was spent doing several million loads of laundry, checking out a house (we're thinking about moving into Sugar Land), and hanging out in the baby pool/backyard with the twins' best pal, Hayes. 

It was a wonderful weekend indeed… next up: Memorial Day weekend with the Olivers!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sick day

Poor Colby didn't get any better yesterday. He was doing ok in the morning, but his fever went back up in the afternoon and he was pretty pitiful for the second half of the day. I ended up taking the whole day off of work, and that was actually the first full day I had spent alone with the twins in a really long time! 

In between attempting to stay on top of work e-mails and checking Colby's temperature, I managed to document a few of the more photo-worthy moments:

This one's for you, Aunt Nancie! Clara is still making great use of those teething balls you gave them for Christmas.

I know he looks depressed here, but he was actually feeling ok at this point. The look you see on his face is just him being entranced by the Nutrigrain bar. He shoved the whole thing in his mouth and didn't remove his fingers until he was finished polishing it off, much as he did with his birthday cupcake!

Clara typically demands a certain amount (all) of our attention, and I could tell she wasn't thrilled about how much attention Colby was getting in her place yesterday. It's tough being a twin, sister- trust me, I know! With that being the case, I was anxious for her to stay occupied and distracted whenever possible. Thank you, Noah and Buster, for providing 10 minutes of entertainment for her:

Meanwhile, I spent a fair amount of the afternoon doing this:

 And at one point, Clara fell and bumped her head, which resulted in this:

(Pardon all of my repetitive and depressing selfies.)

That fun "lay our heads on mommy's shoulders and intermittently wail" session also resulted in a text message to Daddy asking him to please hurry home!

Clara cheered up pretty quickly, and in an effort to cheer up her brother (who are we kidding, she just didn't want to be left out), she came back a few minutes later and laid her head on his back. Clara and I thought it was pretty sweet, but you can tell from Colby's expression that he was not quite as amused… oops.

Brian made it home a little earlier than normal and just in time to provide and extra set of hands. Clara was quite pleased to have someone to play with her and Colby was quite pleased to have my shoulder to himself- ha!

We're hoping our poor little guy wakes up feeling better and with no fever this morning- prayers appreciated! Prayers also appreciated for Brian as he tackles the twinks solo this morning while I'm at work :) (This, by the way, will be the first morning in the twins' life that they have woken up without me being there… sniff sniff.)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Always something (plus some first steps!)

When I say, "it's always something," I don't mean to sound all woe-is-me… I literally mean that with children in the mix, it seems like there is quite literally always something throwing a wrench in our normal routine. Being that I love change and inconsistency so much, I handle this gracefully and with great ease, as you might imagine :)

The daycare called me during lunch yesterday to let me know that poor Colby had a high fever and was not feeling so great. Since Brian and I carpool to work (and he drives), he had to leave to come pick them up. I work across the street from the daycare, though, so I walked over there to check on my little guy and keep him company while we waited for daddy to come to the rescue.

He was pretty pitiful and just sat with me in the rocking chair resting his head on my shoulder (and collecting an impressive puddle of drool). Meanwhile, Clara could not have cared less that I was there, which is amusing considering how attached at my hip she is at home lately.

She was busy eating her lunch and it was fun to observe her in her normal environment for a bit, but it was pretty aggravating to see just how WELL-BEHAVED AND COOPERATIVE she was being about the whole thing. She did not throw her sippy cup on the ground once. Not one time. She just happily ate her food and gulped her milk, pausing occasionally to smile and wave at her teachers.

That child. She might be the death of me, but she sure is cute, and I'm glad she knows how to act like a polite little girl (rather than a wild monkey) sometimes. While I was there, the teachers did, however, share with me about how, um, "assertive" Clara is at school. They were hesitant to rat her out, but it sounds like my little sassy pants doesn't take crap from the other kids and isn't afraid to fight for what she wants… or what she strongly believes belongs to her and her alone. And yes, I'm as shocked as you are that I'm the mother of an assertive, territorial, and at times confrontational child.

I digress. Brian took Colby (and his tagalong sis) to the doctor and they couldn't find anything wrong with him. And at that point, just 1.5 hours later, his fever was back down, so most likely he just has a (hopefully short-lived) virus. The daycare has a 24-hour fever-free rule, so I'll be at home with the twins today until at least lunchtime. Relatedly, if anyone wants to volunteer to be our standby nanny for days like this, we would gladly take you up on the offer!

And in more exciting news, the twins have now both officially taken their first steps! They are definitely not ready to walk on their own yet, but they've made great progress. Which is amusing, considering just a few weeks ago I was obsessing about how they would never learn how to walk. 

Anyway, enjoy:

1. I love how she raises her arms in the air before she starts, as if she's preparing for a complex gymnastics routine.
2. Don't judge us for laughing when our children fall over like chopped-down trees.

So I guess it's safe to say that "it's always something," doesn't necessarily mean it's always something bad, because this whole watching the babies learn to walk thing is pretty darn entertaining! 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

It wouldn't be a proper Mother's Day post without referencing vomit!

Before there was Mother's Day, there was a night full of vomiting. Last Tuesday, we heard an unusual sound over the monitor and tuned in to see a few piles of barf next to Clara in her crib. We went in to get her and she looked very disoriented… I guess I would be too if I woke up covered in my own throw-up (how many different terms can I use for "vomit" in this post?).

We put her in the bath, thinking it was a one-time event, and wrapped her up in a towel to dry her off. And then came round 2. And then round 3. And on and it on it went through round eleventy billion for the next 4+ hours. It was a really special evening (meanwhile, Colby slept peacefully and cluelessly through the whole thing)!

Thankfully, she was feeling a million times better the next morning. I stayed home with them for the morning while Brian went into work, and was once again reminded how unbelievably hard it is to be a mom without having any help around (I'm looking at you, SAHMs!). I think the highlight was when I finished changing Clara's diaper and turned around for a split second just in time for her to dive head first off of the changing table. After I got her calmed down, I came back into the room where Colby was playing to find he had removed the top from his (full) snack cup and flung his Cheerios all over the floor.

In much better spirits, and even attempting breakfast!

Relatedly, that little stint also reminded me how disgusting being a mom is. During her vomit fest, Clara would shove her fist into her mouth immediately after vomiting and then wave it wildly in my face, often times sticking it right in my mouth. And then I got to spend the morning with Colby using me as a human Kleenex. So glamorous.

Hanging with Colby and his monkey-toed jammies

Clara stayed on the mend and we were relieved that Colby managed not to catch it, but when Friday rolled around, it was clear that Brian was not so lucky. He was supposed to help me take them to their follow-up bloodwork appointment (to check their iron levels), but was in no shape to do so, so I bravely went alone.

Isn't she ladylike?

There was a lot of screaming (in unison) (from them, not me) (but I was tempted to join them), but we made it out in one piece. Both of their iron levels have gone up, so the good news is that the iron drops- disgusting though they may smell and taste- are working. And surprisingly, we found out that Clara is now out-weighing Colby! She tipped the scale at 20 pounds, 3 ounces, and he was right behind her at 20 pounds even. I was confused by this considering how much food this kid has been shoving in his face lately (namely BBQ whenever he can get his hands on it) and considering how much she threw up just a couple of days before, but then I remembered that she is downing 12-16 ounces of whole milk/day while homeboy is still just drinking water.

We left the appointment and went back to daycare to kick off Mother's Day weekend with a Mother's Day tea. It was fun to get to hang out with some of the other mommies from their class (especially since 3 of them are my co-workers!), but as any of you moms of multiples can relate, it is not easy to handle situations like that solo. They were both tired and cranky and squirmy and both constantly wanting to be held, which isn't easy when you only have one set of arms.

Instagram repeat… sorry

Fortunately Brian was feeling better on Saturday, so we were able to spend the rest of the weekend with two fully functioning adults to chase these little rug rats around:

We ran errands, went to a birthday party, went out for Mother's Day lunch (which lasted all of 20 minutes, thanks to C&C!), did a little shopping, went on a few walks, and spent plenty of time playing. Nothing monumental, but a very typical weekend in the life of a mom, so I'll take it! Oh, and Colby and Clara gifted me with a gift certificate for a massage and a pedicure, along with a vase full of tulips, so that didn't hurt either ;)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

To my mom...

To Colby & Clara's "Franny"...

To Brian's mom...

To Colby & Clara's "Mimi"...

And to the two sweet babies that made me a mommy...

Happy Mother's Day!

And to those missing a mom or waiting to become a mom, thinking of you today and praying for your day to be filled with joy (and chocolate, because I'm a big proponent of eating one's feelings)!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Celebrating Brian (aka: the day in which I consumed zero fruits/vegetables)

So Brian had a birthday! And as usual, I've been too busy trying to keep my head above water with working and parenting to sit down and blog about it :)

He at least pretended to enjoy himself for the day, so I'm going to take that to mean his 31st birthday was a success. The weather was perfect, thankfully, so we started the morning off with french toast muffins and a walk to the coffee shop in our neighborhood. They enjoyed it more than Colby's expression suggests:

Wouldn't it be nice if going to the coffee shop in your pajamas as an adult was still considered cute?

The twins also helped Brian open presents before their morning nap. Surprisingly, he wasn't as excited about the tissue paper as they were and they weren't as excited about his new tools and polo shirt as he was. Not pictured: my gift to Brian which is a night away in a couple of weeks, complete with tickets to an Astros game and a hotel stay!

For lunch, Brian's mom and sister graciously watched the rugrats while escaped for some adult socialization. There's a local brewery in Katy called No Label that has tours/tastings from 12-3 pm on Saturdays. For $5, you get 4 beer tastings (or in Brian's case since his wifey thinks beer tastes like pee, 8 tastings) (don't worry, he didn't use all 8) and admission to the brewery, where they have live music, food trucks, and an outdoor area to hang out. It was sort of like tailgating at a brewery, if that makes sense? 

Anyway, it was a lot of fun (especially thanks to the perfect weather) and I would definitely recommend it to anyone in the area. It's even family and pet friendly, so the kiddos and pups can tag along if you're feeling brave.

Me with the birthday boy- color coordinating is fun!

With some of my favorite peeps: Katie, Kristen, me, Brittany

And our (blurry) counterparts inside the brewery: Chris, Brian, Bryan, and Stephen

We spent the afternoon hanging out with Brian's family and finished off the evening with dinner at one of Brian's favorite places (admittedly one of my least favorite places, sadly): Ragin' Cajun. In case I haven't declared this publicly, I am not a fan of sea food. And I am definitely not a fan of crawfish. Brian, however, is a big fan of both, and mercifully does not make me go to sea food/crawfish restaurants on a regular basis.

His birthday is, of course, the exception, and even though I was not a great sport about it this year, I'm still glad he got to enjoy one of his favorite meals. (In my defense, I anticipated that our squirmy children would start to get squirmy and he would be too covered in crawfish goo to help me deal with them… and I was correct. Thankfully his crawfish-hating sister came to my rescue!)

Colby & Clara with their Granddaddy

Clara with her cute Auntie Shannon

We made it home for bath/bedtime for the twins (during which Clara pooped in the tub for the 2nd weekend in a row… sweet birthday "present" for Daddy, right?) and birthday dessert with Brian's fam. Dessert consisted of fancy box mix brownies and Bluebell ice cream, for those of you that were curious.

We really did have a fun day celebrating the birthday boy and appreciate everyone that helped us do so. Looking forward to Mother's Day this weekend and then ringing in the big 3-1 with Allison at the end of the month- May is my favorite!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Happy birthday to Brian!

This guy...

turns 31 today! 

I truly could not have asked for a more patient, kind, generous, funny, and loving person to walk through life with me and I am so thankful for him today and every day. Now that we have two somewhat demanding little people in our lives, I don't get to spend as much time just enjoying his company as I used to, and I also don't take the chance to tell him how much I love and appreciate him as often. So now I'm taking the opportunity to do so publicly :)

Happy 31st birthday, Brian! Thanks for being the greatest husband/daddy/friend/pancake-maker/feet-rubber/chauffeur/useless-trivia-expert there is!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Double giveaway winners!

A big thank you to everyone who entered our double giveaway from Cherry Creek Co! We received 79 entries, and just so everyone knows the winners were picked fairly and squarely, here's how we did it: each entry was assigned a random number in an Excel spreadsheet, then we used a random number generator to choose 2 numbers between 1-79. And without further adieu, the winners are...


and Jessica!

Congrats, ladies! Jessica, we already have your contact info, but Maggie, please comment on this post or Allison's post with your contact info so we can pass it on and have the blanket sent your way!

To everyone else, we're sorry you didn't win, but feel free to indulge in a little retail therapy at the Cherry Creek Co site on Etsy to make yourself feel better.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Growing up, I shared everything with my sister- from the womb, to our bedroom, and everything in between. Along with the shared belongings came shared experiences and shared emotions, and although we don't live together anymore, that continues to be the case today.

This has meant that we share in each other's joys, but unfortunately, this also means we share in each other's sorrows, which is why my heart broke into pieces when she told me yesterday about the passing of their sweet pup, Rocky. Pesky puppy habits aside, I loved that little guy almost as much as I love my own two dogs, and I can say confidently that Brian loved him even more than I did. (You can check out the post about the time he and Tucker stayed with us for a week here.)

We will miss that sweet Rocky bear and wish that we could be nearby Allison and Wade to help lift their spirits. Instead, we will pray for peace as they adjust to life without him and ask that you would do the same!

Anyway, sorry for the Debbie Downer moment. As many of you know all too well, it is just tough to lose a pet, and tough to see people you love hurting!

But moving along, speaking of things I share with that sister of mine:

- Don't forget that today is the last day to enter our double baby blanket giveaway- we'll be announcing the winner tomorrow!
- Today is the first day of May, which means today is officially the start of our birthday month (and Brian's, too)- hooray!

And that's all I've got. Be sure to hug your furry friends and other loved ones tightly today!