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Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday musings

Oh my goodness. I was about to ask, "when did weekends become so exhausting?" but we're all well aware that the answer to that question is April 5, 2013.

We're headed to Colorado this week to escape our jobs the Texas heat, and we couldn't be more ready. Well, figuratively we couldn't be more ready, but is one ever really physically/mentally ready to fly on an airplane with two 15-month-old toddlers? We've loaded up on episodes of Baby Einstein and Cheerios and are hoping prayers of desperation will do the rest for us and our co-passengers. Relatedly, if you have any tips for flying with kids this age, please feel free to share!

Other than packing, we filled the rest of our weekend with the following:

- Spent Friday evening catching Clara's barf. She woke up from her nap on Friday afternoon and vomited all over her crib while I was changing Colby's diaper (and home alone, mind you). She threw up off and on for the next 4+ hours until she finally emptied her stomach and passed out around 8:30 pm.

Both of the twins have runny noses and coughs at the moment, so we think the drainage might have been what caused it rather than a stomach bug, but who knows. Relatedly, we used no fewer than 8,000 boogie wipes/tissues throughout the weekend and were once again reminded that one of our primary purposes in life is now to serve as human Kleenexes.

- Visited the neighborhood pool. It was cloudy and not very crowded, so despite how exhausting it is to chase two toddlers around the pool, it was a pretty ideal set-up.

In case you didn't already see on Instagram, Clara wore pigtails for the first time on Friday and now her Mommy can't stop giving them to her :)

Colby and Daddy playing at the splash pad…

Meanwhile, Mommy got to supervise Clara while she played with empty fruit squeeze pouches on a dingy pool chair.

- Made a long overdue visit to see my grandparents. They were gracious enough to feed us lunch and let the twins take over their house!

- Made an offer on a(nother) house! A new one popped up on yesterday morning, and based on how things went with the last offer, we knew we needed to act quickly. We scheduled a showing for yesterday afternoon and signed an offer before we left the house. We haven't heard anything back yet, so keep your fingers crossed for us!

- Finished watching Resurrection and started watching Nashville on Hulu Plus. We made it through more than half a dozen episodes and I think that's actually pretty impressive considering how many of our waking hours are spent being dictated by little people. I'm already hooked on both, although it's hard for me to watch Connie Britton as anyone other than Coach Taylor's wife on Friday Night Lights.

So that was our weekend. And this picture was actually taken on Thursday, but I thought it was amusing enough to share. Just enjoying reading the circulars with Daddy...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The big D, and I do mean Dallas

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but in case I haven't, for the first year out of college, I worked at my home church as an intern with the youth group. Not surprisingly, some of the other staff members became my best friends. But what I was a little surprised to find was that quite a few of the 9th grade girls also became my best friends! 

Thanks to social media, I've been able to keep up with them over the past 9 years (oh my word, how has it been 9 years since then?!), through their high school years, college years, and now adult years. One of them got married in Dallas this past weekend, and since my parents live there, I figured it would be a good excuse for us to pay them a visit.

It was a quick trip, but we managed to pack in plenty of quality time with my parents, older sister's family, and my grandmother, all of whom we don't get to see nearly often enough. The twins were loving all of the attention (and cookies), but let's be honest, so was I ;) Clara even managed to add a new word to her vocabulary: "Pop Pop," which, as you can imagine, pleased my dad quite a bit!

Anyway, let's get on with the pictures:

Thankfully the twins do pretty well in the car, but I usually have to make my way to the backseat a couple of times each way to feed them or simply distract them from their boredom. 

Such a flirt, that little girl is.

"More peanut butter sandwich, mommy?"

After dinner with my sister's fam, we hit up the park by my parents' house to swing before bedtime:

On Saturday, we had an impromptu photo shoot with Franny and Pop Pop...

We followed that up with lunch at Grub, which was delicious, but slightly distracting thanks to one teething little mess of a girl and her hangry brother.

Yeah, pretty sure they didn't hook up that high chair for you to stand on, Clara, but whatever keeps you quiet. Also, I promise she doesn't spend 24/7 with a pacifier… it's just very useful when she's teething and when we need a mute button for her!

I posted a similar pic on Instagram, but I love how Clara was charging after Brian and Colby, determined not to be left behind:

After lunch, we had a little play time with the cousins before nap time for the twins (aka: mall time for me and my mom):

Clara with Emma, their oldest cousin

Clara with my big sis

You'll notice Colby isn't in these pictures. That would be because he was far more interested in playing with the trucks and throwing every ball he could find than socializing. Such a boy.

My parents watched the twins that evening while we headed to the wedding. I was thankful to hear they were on their best behavior and didn't scare my parents away from babysitting again in future :) The wedding was beautiful and it was fun to catch up with my old (young) pals (and eat cake):

Crazy how the 8-year age gap isn't as obvious as it was when we were 14 and 22, respectively!

Blurry, but necessary proof that we were out and about without our little sidekicks

That last one's a framer. What did we ever do before photo booths at weddings were a "thing?"

We went to sleep well after our usual bedtime that night, and wouldn't you know that Clara picked that same night to stay up from 3-4 am crying (presumably about her teeth)? It was really special, and we were really excited when she decided to wake up for the next day at 7:15 (45 minutes earlier than the day before).

We hung around the house for a bit that morning and reluctantly hit the road after lunch (at what age does leaving your parents' house become less depressing?). Before we left, I made my dad recreate a picture that he took with me and Allison as babies. Sadly, I haven't been able to locate the original, but I'm still working on it!

Allison and I wore these duck and bunny outfits on our first Halloween back in 1983!

We decided to have Brian recreate the picture, too, but I think you'll agree that it didn't go quite as well…
Apparently someone was no longer interested in cooperating for pictures?

Thanks to some rain, the drive home was a lot longer than the drive there, but we managed to make it home without any meltdowns, which I firmly believe was in large part thanks to our dear friends, cheddar bunnies and Baby Einstein.

I'm really hoping those same friends can help us (and our fellow passengers) survive the twins' first flights next week… prayers appreciated!

Monday, June 23, 2014


So we took a little trip to Dallas this past weekend for a wedding, and while the rational thing for me to do would be to post a recap today, I knew realistically that I wouldn't be able to get the pictures uploaded and properly captioned in time, so you're going to get this instead (thanks to inspiration from Erika). And you're going to like it.

Currently, I am...

Listening… to local channels go in and out on TV while Brian attempts to find the perfect reception spot with the new antenna. He made the executive (and somewhat shocking) decision that we should get rid of cable, and being that I watch approximately zero TV these days besides the occasional episode of Dateline, I didn't object. 

Eating nothing at this exact moment, but I just shoved several handfuls of pretzel M&Ms in my mouth a few minutes ago.

Drinking water, because I'm boring awesome and that's all I ever drink.

Wearing the maxi dress that Allison gave me for my birthday last year. You can see pics of it here.

Feeling tired. Newsflash: traveling with two toddlers is a lot of work.

Weather… warm and humid, aka: the same answer I'd give 95% of the year.

Wanting… to take a week off from work (and life in general). Good thing we are headed to Colorado next week! 

Needing… to stop eating so much junk food. We convinced my dad to start using My Fitness Pal this weekend, so maybe I will join him and get back into the habit of logging my food in hopes of shaming myself into cutting back on the candy consumption. 

Thinking… about how much fun it will be to go to jury duty on Tuesday. If only the judicial system knew how unapologetically opinionated I was, perhaps they wouldn't waste their time (or mine) even inviting me.

Enjoying… the twins' current age/phase! Don't get me wrong, I could do without the tantrums and inability to still for longer than 4 seconds, but I am having so much fun getting to know their little personalities and I'm excited to play with them every morning when we get them up and after we get home from work.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Remember when I used to write posts without pictures?

So I got my hair cut. Apparently it was a significant cut, as evidenced by the fact that males (in addition to my spouse) noticed that it was shorter when they saw me at work yesterday. I was tired of the layers- however subtle that my have been- and ready for a change, so I just decided to chop it. Or rather, have someone else chop it.

If we're being honest, what I'm really tired of is the STUPID POST-BABY HAIR GROWTH THAT WILL SEEMINGLY NEVER GROW OUT. I have two obnoxious sprouts on either side of my part that make me want to shave my head entirely. See what I mean?:

This picture also makes my arm look ginormous, so let's just focus on how cute Clara looks, even with her crazy hair.

Anyway, here's the new 'do:

When I showed my mom, her first response was, "It looks like how you had it cut in second grade!" Oh, good. Glad I finally achieved the look I was going for.

Anyway, the daycare had a Father's Day party late Friday afternoon (more on that later), so I took advantage of the free time I had and in addition to my haircut, I also ran some errands and cleaned the house. (One day I am going to take a full day off of work and take the twins to daycare and just sit around and do absolutely nothing. Please hold me to that.)

One of my errands included a trip to Bed, Bath, & Beyond to get a wedding gift, and I was actually pleasantly surprised to learn that they have shifted from complimentary gift wrapping to a complimentary do-it-yourself gift wrap station. 

Some of you may be confused as to why doing the work myself is preferable to someone else doing the work. Well let me tell you: if my impatience results in an irrational state of rage because the wrapping is taking too long, then at least I can direct that rage toward myself and do something about it rather than stand around pointlessly perusing the "as seen on tv" section.

I have to admit I was pretty proud of how my wrapping job turned out. And if you think that's lame, then you'll think it's really lame that I took a picture as proof:

While I was living the high life and scrubbing the toilets at home, Brian was attending the Father's Day party and because he is the best, he complied with my request for pictures.

Look who's getting better at walking!

 And look who thinks she's a dog!

After errand-running on Saturday (including the twins' first trip to Walmart… barf), we went to evening church and were sad to hear that Colby was unhappy for the duration of his time in the nursery. It might be because he hadn't napped since 11 am, but take a look at this picture I took once we got home and you be the judge:

Father's Day was spent celebrating Brian and although it wasn't a very relaxing day, I still hope he felt loved and appreciated, because it really goes without saying that the 3 of us would be unable to function without him! We started the morning off with breakfast from a local donut shop (highly recommended by Brittnie and Erika), which included a breakfast taco, 2 kolaches, a dozen donut holes, and this beauty:

Those would be fruity pebbles. Basically it was the breakfast of (really fat) champions.

And great daddy that he is, of course he shared with the little bits:

After lunch and nap time, Brian's family came over for burgers and baby pool time for the twins. Sadly, I didn't get any pictures while they were here, but I did document the crafty card we made for each of the grandfathers:

Those are lobsters, duh. Not too terrible for our first at home footprint/handprint art, right?

And when the weekend was done, we both collapsed into a pile of exhaustion. And then woke up yesterday morning and started a work week, because fruity pebble donuts and haircuts don't pay for themselves, am I right?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

As a follow-up to my Mother's Day post...

To my dad...

To Colby & Clara's Pop Pop...

To Brian's dad...

To Colby & Clara's Granddaddy...

And to the greatest daddy I could ever ask for for my own babies...

 Happy Father's Day!

And to those missing a dad or waiting to become a dad, thinking of you today and praying for your day to be filled with joy (and cheeseburgers and beer... because that's what guys like, right?)!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

On parenting… and stuff

I'm trying to make an effort to read actual books more often, and considering it took me 6+ months to read Sparkly Green Earrings (a very quick, light read), I'd say anything would be an improvement. In fact, I have several books that have been sitting in the drawer of my bedside table to read since before the twins were born, so it's time that I get with the program.

Luckily, my friend, Kristen, gifted me with The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting, so I have the perfect motivation to jump back on the actual-book (as opposed to Facebook) bandwagon. Don't worry, it's a satire, not an actual book about parenting… why would I read one of those when I already know everything there is to know? Pretty sure anyone who saw me with the twins at the pediatrician's office last week BAREFOOT AND CRAWLING ALL OVER THE DISGUSTING GERM-INFESTED FLOOR could tell you that. 

Speaking of parenting, I made my first purchase on zulily recently (which is really a miracle considering all of the smocked owl items they have tempted me with over the past year) and was pretty excited to see it arrive in our mailbox yesterday:

If these aren't the most perfect jammies for Colby (who has an "older brother" that's a baby dinosaur), then I don't know what would be. Sadly, there weren't any cute ones that were worth buying for Clara, but I have a feeling she will more than surpass him in apparel purchases in the future, so I'm not feeling too bad about it.

Completely unrelated, but our neighborhood had a "splash party" last weekend and because we never refuse free hot dogs and ice cream, we made sure to attend. The property management group that manages our subdivision hosted the party, and honestly the representatives running the event acted a little bit like dictators, insisting we couldn't eat the hot dogs until the official announcement was made and denying small children ice cream bars if they didn't have their wrist band to show, etc.).

Nonetheless, we had a good time and even though I already shared a couple of pictures in the twins' recap post the other day, I had a few others that were worth displaying:

Can you tell which twin took a little longer to warm up to the pool (literally and figuratively)?

I'm sorry, but I hate these hats. I mean, they are kind of cute and obviously functional, but I just have to admit that I think they're dorky on non-infants, especially when there's a chin strap involved. Sorry if you passionately love bucket hats.

 And of course, I had to save the best for last! Our friend, Stephen, and Brian were hanging out with both sets of twins (Mary & Maggie are 4.5 months younger than Colby & Clara), so clearly I had to capture the moment. And while it's not a surprise that 3/4 weren't looking at the camera, I wasn't quite expecting this animated display from Clara. Oh, that poor girl and her lack of personality… ;)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Impromptu Colby & Clara update

At 14 months:

Colby is…
… weighing 20 lbs, 12 oz, which puts him in the 27th percentile.

… really interested in his stuffed animals, and gets the biggest grin on his face and gives them a hug when we hand them to him at bedtime. Sometimes he also tosses them overboard while playing before he goes to sleep. We’re hoping he doesn’t treat his real life friends with the same flippancy in years to come.

… obsessed with the toy picnic basket they got for their birthday. It’s the first toy he pulls out when he’s playing and causes the most distress when we put it away.

… becoming more interested in books. He has been known to destroy a book or two, however, so we’re only trusting him with board books for the time being!

… using everything as a push toy. This learn and play table? Push toy. The chair at the pediatrician’s office? Push toy. DVD case? Push toy that’s very low to the ground.

… taking steps here and there, but very cautiously. Never would we have predicted that Clara, our baby that was deemed “floppy” at birth, would walk before her sturdy big brother.

… quite the eater. In typical boy fashion, he loves eating meat, but he can also always make room for apple sauce, bananas, grapes, and yogurt.

… known to play in his crib for up to an hour before going to sleep at naptime. And then he will usually only stay asleep for 45 minutes to an hour.

… very disgusted by milk. Chocolate milk and strawberry milk are equally offensive to regular milk, in case you were wondering.

… generally content except when food is involved. If he doesn’t like what he’s given or wants more of what he’s given, he will make it known… and loudly.

… still (much to my frustration) slamming his sippy cup onto the floor when he’s done drinking. Isn’t there a term for this in football… intentional grounding?

… great at independent play time and usually minds his own business.

… still only operating with 4 teeth and not showing many signs of popping up any others.

… very sweet when he wants to be, including his newest habit of laying his head on your shoulder and reciprocating back-patting by patting you on the back at the same time—might be my favorite thing ever!

Clara is…
… weighing 21 lbs, which puts her in the 55th percentile… which makes her seem obese in comparison to her birth weight, which was in the 1st percentile.

… starting to lose interest in her Wubbanub pacifiers, possibly because of her recent bout with thrush? Don’t worry, though, she isn’t lacking in items to which she can be irrationally attached. However, in this current phase, “items” = me.

… a lot like a tornado, moving unexpectedly from one place to the next and making messes as she goes.

… most definitely walking (or toddling, rather)! It seems to be to her advantage that she’s so daring and doesn’t really worry much about what (or whom) might be in her way.

… a big fan of milk! This is really the only explanation for the fact that she continues to outweigh her brother, because he definitely eats more than she does.

… not a picky eater, but also doesn’t seem to love any one food all that much… she just tolerates many different kinds. And those that she doesn’t tolerate? She lovingly feeds to the dogs.
Nothing but the healthiest food for my child(ren)!

… moody! She can (and often does) go from giggling, to whining, to shrieking angrily in a matter of seconds.

… not so great at playing or doing much of anything independently. Relatedly, she doesn’t necessarily have favorite toys at the moment. She just wants to be where the people are at all times!
Let me out!!!

… still a great napper and consistently naps longer (and more quietly) than Colby.

… very chatty. She still only says a handful of “words,” but she is constantly talking. And we’re pretty sure it’s in some type of tribal African dialect.

… also still only operating with 4 teeth, but I’m hoping that the finger-chewing, unexplained whining, and semi-constant need to be held are the result of some new ones coming in!

… getting better at “sharing” (some) things with Colby. She even tries to shove Cheerios in his mouth when they’re eating out of the same snack cup, which usually just results in her sticking her fingers in his mouth. I wonder how they both ended up catching the same virus last week? ;)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thirty-one in three parts

Colby and Clara are 14 months old today! Selfless mom that I am, I'm going to commemorate the occasion by blogging about my own birthday. They'll tell a therapist about this some day, no doubt.

Let's break down my 31st recap into three sections: (1) Pre-birthday, (2) Birthday, and (3) Post-birthday, aka: the reason I haven't blogged all week.

The celebration sort of started on Thursday when a thoughtful co-worker gave me some early birthday treats and Brian showed up unexpectedly at my office with pretty flowers AND cookies from Tiff's Treats.

After work on Friday (have I mentioned how much I love getting off work at 11:30 on Fridays?!), I went to redeem the massage and pedicure gift card Brian had given me for Mother's Day. Let's ignore the irony of the fact that I left the kids at daycare while I went to redeem this Mother's Day gift.

This is the look of a mom who feels guilty, don't you think?

After the rendezvous at the spa, Brian and I actually went to look at another house. To make a long story short that summarizes how ridiculous the housing market is right now, the house went on the market on Thursday, we went to see it on Friday, we put it an offer on Saturday, and learned on Sunday that our offer was rejected because there were FOURTEEN OTHER OFFERS on the same house. Ridiculous. 

That's fine, house, I don't want your ugly sliding mirror closet doors and single pane windows anyway.

After we (finally) picked up the kids, fed them dinner, and put them to bed, I was off to birthday dinner with a few friends at a Mexican restaurant near my house. It was fun to spend some girl time without husbands or kids, and I even decided to live on the wild side and have a margarita, which happens approximately never. Because of this, it's safe to say I was a little loopy by the time dinner was over, and although no one has called me out on it, I'm pretty sure I was acting like an overly smiley dork for the duration of the meal. That's how you know they're true friends ;)

A truly terrible picture, but I had to document it because these are some of my favorite people! (Kristen, Kim, Brittany, Brittnie, me, Shannon)

We hit the road for Austin on Saturday morning and made it in time to meet the Olivers and my parents for lunch at Blue Baker
Husbands + Parents

Franny & Pop Pop + Avery & Clara

Birthday girls + Avery

Family pic, for which the twins were clearly very cooperative!

You can't tell from this picture, but Clara was really excited to see Allison (whom we've now named "second mommy"), and snuggled with her like that for a few minutes when they were first reunited.

As you probably already learned from Allison's birthday recap, the rest of the day was spent shopping with our mom and more importantly (though we love them dearly) without our littlest sidekicks! We haven't all 3 gotten to go shopping together in a while, so it was a nice treat.

My mom will be really excited to learn that I posted this pic of her on the blog! In contrast, I know you'll all be sad to learn that she did not, in fact, purchase that headband.

Brian and Wade were on daddy duty (under the "supervision" of my dad, ha!) all day/evening, and for that we are very thankful, because handling 4 kids aged 3 and under is no easy task. They even sent pics of the littles ones in their matching jammies while we were at dinner!

You can tell Clara was trying really hard to keep it together here...

And you can tell here that she wasn't very successful at that, sadly :(

We finished off the night with a game of Cards Against Humanity, aka: the most inappropriate and hilarious game of all time. You'd think we'd be embarrassed to play this with our parents, but then you don't know our parents! Amusingly, they were usually the ones playing the most inappropriate cards.

We planned to extend our celebrating into Sunday by sticking around Austin through lunchtime. Allison and I kicked off the morning by taking Davis and Clara for a walk while Avery and Colby hung back with the boys.

About 5 minutes into the walk, Clara started getting fussy, which is unusual for her because she's usually very content in the stroller. I went to pick her up when she started wailing and that point noticed red dots on her tongue. I quickly checked her palms and feet and noticed matching red spots on there as well.

I knew instantly she was coming down with hand, foot, and mouth disease (remember when I caught that right before we started IVF? Fun times.). Not wanting to spread the germs to Avery and Davis (although we knew it was likely too late), we packed up our bags and the babies and hit the road for a premature departure back to Richmond.

Upon further inspection of Colby in the car, I found the same red spots. I know what you're thinking: trapped in the car for 2.5 hours with two toddlers with hand, foot, and mouth disease? Happy belated birthday to me!

And you're right, I was really pumped about it. So pumped that I briefly melted down and cried in the car about the injustice of it all. But then I sucked it up and moved on because (a) that's life and (b) cheesy though it may be, I am just so incredibly grateful for those little munchkins that I'll take every Oregon Trail disease in the world if it means I get to have them in my life.

Anyway, it was an abrupt and less-than-ideal end to the weekend/start to the week, but we powered on and hopefully the worst is behind us. A trip to the pediatrician confirmed HFM for both of the twins and a case of thrush for Clara. Poor thing :(

Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised when I went back to work on Monday afternoon to see that my birthday would live on for a little while longer because a co-worker had decorated my desk while I was away (and another co-worker bestowed upon me the 2 most gigantic bags of M&Ms ever created, which you can see in the background)!

 So there you have it: all three stages of turning 31! Thanks to all who helped make my golden birthday such a special one, even my sweet diseased little babies!