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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Colby Wayne

Now that you've all had a glimpse into life with Crazy Pants, it's time for you to learn a little bit about what life is like with Colby Wayne these days...

- Current nicknames: Colbs, Guy Man, Buddy Guy

- He will be 16 months old one week from today.

- As of 1.5 weeks ago, he weighs 22 pounds, 3 ounces, which puts him in the 38th percentile (also the highest yet for him)!

- He's also 30.5 inches tall (21st percentile), which is the exact same height as his sister.

- His head measures 18.5 inches around, which puts him in the 53rd percentile. I think it's interesting that his percentiles are all over the map!

- Colby's current favorite food is, well, everything. He really loves bananas, grapes, yogurt, and barbeque (yes, Brian is particularly proud of that fact), but will gladly shovel any number of foods into his mouth these days if you put them in front of him. So great is his love for eating that one of the daycare teachers mentioned that he will often walk up to the refrigerator in their classroom and cry once mealtime is over.

- Napping is just not his thing. He is more than ready to move down to one nap a day, but for now, he is stuck on Clara's two-nap schedule in order to preserve everyone's sanity. This means that he usually plays for 25% of his morning nap and sleeps for the other 75%. And for the afternoon nap, those percentages are generally reversed.

- Sleeping at night, however, is his forte. I can probably count on one hand the number of times he has even made a peep during the middle of the night over the past several months. And to answer the question that we get all of the time: yes, the twins can (usually) sleep through each other's noise-making, hysterical crying included.

- He is a big fan of stuffed animals and blankies, which I find to be about the cutest thing on earth. He has always been the more snuggly of the two, so I guess this shouldn't surprise me much.

- He has quite an arm on him and loves to pick up a ball, yell 'BA!!!' and pelt the closest target with said ball.

- Much like his daddy, he is very even-tempered and really only loses his cool if he is hangry or if he gets hurt.

- Also much like his daddy, he's very sweet and is known to drop whatever he's doing, smile excitedly, and run over to one of us to give us a hug.

- He has become much more sociable and is really into waving and telling people "hi" and "bye" at the moment.

- His preferred hobbies include: moving furniture (nothing is off limits), playing with his cars and trucks, "reading" quietly behind the couch as if he is very engrossed in his board books and needs privacy to fully enjoy them, denting our coffee table with any object within reach, and throwing his sippy cup on the floor 8,000 times a day

Colby Guy, we tell you this all the time, but we're pretty sure you are, in fact, the sweetest little boy that ever lived. I might not have guessed that would be the case when you were a newborn (aptly dubbed "the terrorist"), but it certainly is true now.

I know you won't stay this little forever (sniff sniff), but I sure do hope you stay this sweet, thoughtful, and loving forever! I love you, little boy!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Clara Lane

In an effort to discuss something other than moving (we're closing tomorrow and moving on Friday and our current house hasn't had an offer yet… there's your update), I thought it was time for an update on the twins. And for a change, I'm going to dedicate an individual post to each of them!

Ladies first, so let's start with a little bit about Clara Lane…

- Current nicknames: Littlest, Messy Misses, Sissy, Crazy Pants

- She will be 16 months old a week from tomorrow.

- As of 1.5 weeks ago, she weighs 22 pounds, 2 ounces, which puts her in the 61st percentile (highest percentile yet for her)!

- She's 30.5 inches tall (43rd percentile), which is the exact same height as her brother.

- Her head measures 18 inches around, which puts her in the 49th percentile. So it's safe to say that across the board, she's pretty average in size! (Which is, once again, amazing considering how much time we spent worrying about her size when she was in utero.)

- According to her parents and as a result of her moodiness (to put it lightly), her current theme songs are "Dark Horse" and "Unwell," which is amusing considering we once claimed her theme song was "Happy."

- She LOVES "Sing-along with Mitten the Kitten," and is particularly enamored with Mitten's rendition of "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes."

- Along with that song, there are two other tricks that can pretty consistently talk her off a ledge:
1. sippy cup of milk
2. her Wubbanub pacifiers, aka: "the wubbies," aka: Clara's drug of choice

This was taken at the airport on the way home from Colorado a few weeks ago and is classic Clara. Her preference is to have one in her mouth and one in each hand. Typically we reserve pacifier use for the crib and the car, but because we often don't want our ears or the ears of others to begin bleeding from all of the wailing, we give in and let her have one. Parenting: a constant series of choosing one's battles.

- She naps like a champ and functions best if she has two good ones each day. She only gets one not-so-great one at daycare, so let's just say that generally on weeknights, she is not functioning at her best. We like to refer to these times as Clara "losing her faculties."

- She generally sleeps well at night, too, but has intermittently been in the habit of waking up once or twice a night crying hysterically until we come in to give her a pacifier (which is usually about 2 inches from her face).

- Relatedly, she has at least one molar that's just about done coming in. We are hoping this has been the primary cause for her craziness as of late.

- Lest you think we're being dramatic about her "spiritedness," you should know that one of her teachers excitedly greeted us when we picked the twins up last week saying, "Clara didn't have any fits today!" Fits. Like she is a mental patient. And we weren't offended because we knew exactly what she meant. 

-When she jabbers at us, it feels a lot like being at a nail salon… you know the people working there are talking to or about you, but you have no idea what they're saying.

- Her favorite food at the moment is definitely black beans, and sporting a black bean "beard" is one of her favorite fashion statements. Other favorite foods include all starchy carbohydrates and dairy products. Fruits and vegetables generally don't make the cut.

- Her preferred hobbies at the moment: putting things in containers and taking them immediately back out, being independent and walking like a big girl (do NOT insist on carrying her around like a baby or else you will suffer her wrath), admiring and putting on jewelry, sitting on her "perch" by the back window

Found her own perch (and one of the pacifiers in the diaper bag) when we were visiting Mimi and Granddaddy...

So yes, it's safe to say we have our hands full with this little girl at the moment, but we wouldn't trade her for the world. Even though her lows are really low, her highs are really high, so just when we feel like we've reached the end of our rope and have no patience left for her, she flashes her cheesy smile, climbs into one of our laps, or bounces excitedly about something she's just discovered.

Clara, there's a framed picture with a quote that my mom gave me several years ago which I will one day pass along to you, and it says this:

'There has never been a day when I have not been proud of you,' I said to my daughter, 'though some days I'm louder about other stuff so it's easy to miss that.'

I love you, little lady, and hope you're always such an expressive, lovable, little nut!

Monday, July 21, 2014

(Both) house updates

I know a lot of you lost sleep over the weekend wondering what the latest news was with our moving situation (and life in general), so I'm here to catch you up to speed.

Everything is moving right along with closing on the new house, which is scheduled for one week from tomorrow. The sellers actually just bought the house last year, so our realtor was able to find last year's listing, which just so happened to include a virtual tour, so you should definitely go check it out.

I know- the music was really moving, right? Also, if you took the time to watch the tour, then you are now welcome to submit any suggestions you might have for that front room (labeled the "living room"). Our current stage of life doesn't really lend itself to having a formal living room, so we'd like to make that space functional (read: play area for the twins) without it looking like, well, a play area for the twins. Thoughts? Pinterest inspirations? Please share.

As far as our current house goes, it went on the market last Thursday. If you are not a creepy stalker, feel free to check out the listing here (and pass it along to your friends interested in living in the thriving metropolis of Richmond!). We've had 3 showings so far, but no offers yet.

I spent the better portion of the weekend obsessing about the possibility of it NEVER selling and us having to pay two mortgages FOREVER, eventually causing us to live in a van down by the river. It's funny, because the way I'm doubting and worrying and allowing this to consume my thoughts makes it seem like I've never faced an unknown situation from which God delivered me in the past… but I have two 22-pound humans living in the house that would suggest otherwise ;)

Anyway, I was right about the fact that living in a constant "show-ready" state with messy little toddlers is difficult, but it really hasn't been as bad as I thought. The real problem, however, is that I've convinced myself that packing up boxes would make too much of a mess and be too hard to put away for showings, so we have essentially done no packing so far. And we move in 11 days. Oops. The good news is that we still have the second half of season 2 of Nashville to assist with our procrastination efforts.

So that's what we have going on. And now I have a completely unrelated picture comparison to share with you all. Brian actually posted this on Instagram the other day, but since I doubt most of you follow him (@bwjoiner, in case you're interested), I'm resharing:

That would be Colby on the right and an ultrasound pic of one of the twins, which we are clearly assuming is Colby at 11 weeks into the pregnancy on the left. What do you think?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Twin Talk Blog

Several months ago, a couple of fellow twin moms started a new blog called "Twin Talk," which is all about - yep, you guessed it - twins! Specifically, parenting twins. The blog covers a wide variety of topics but generally serves the purpose of bringing together a group of people who are all currently experiencing similar kinds of crazy in their lives :)

Every Friday, they feature a twin mom and share her birth story, and today they're featuring mine! They've had a big response from readers, so believe it or not, I actually submitted my information back in March, hence the slightly outdated pictures of C&C.

Be sure to go check it out and meanwhile, enjoy getting a break from hearing me ramble on about the trials and tribulations of moving!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

First world problems/prayer requests

Good news! I made it all of 24 hours after Monday's post before the external freakout occurred. Except it didn't occur at home buried in a pile of boxes, but rather, it took place in my office in front of a co-worker buried in a pile of e-mails and an overwhelming 'to do' list.

Don't get me wrong, though, it wasn't just about work. Although that was definitely a large contributing factor. It was also about moving. And putting our house on the market. And two toddlers that cannot seem to go more than a week without coming down with some type of illness. And about not having the freedom and flexibility to stay home and take care of them when said illnesses occur (never mind the fact that said illnesses likely wouldn't occur if their mom wasn't working and leaving them in daycare every day).

Sometimes I really feel like I have this "working mom" thing down. It's never easy, but sometimes it's at least… doable. And then other times, I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water, if not drowning entirely. And this week? Definitely drowning.

Anyway, I realize that the issues I'm currently facing are all certifiably first world problems, but I also know that God wants us to bring our cares and concerns to Him, so I'm shamelessly requesting your prayers for the following:

- for the babies to get well and stay well (Colby is recovering from a double ear infection and Clara is recovering from a cold with goopy eyes and a(nother) random episode of barfing)

- for us to get a decent offer on our current house relatively quickly

- for everything to continue to go well with closing on the new house

- for my job to settle down so I can catch my breath from all of life's current craziness

And that is all. Feel free to post your own prayer requests and I will happily return the favor :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Oh yeah, and we're moving!

So remember how we made an offer on a house a couple of weeks ago? When the sellers responded the next morning and said they wanted to review a few other offers before making a decision, I was fairly convinced that we weren't going to get it. And that was fine, because I had a vacation to Colorado to distract me from my disappointment.

So imagine my surprise when, shortly after we landed in Denver and Brian was en route to pick up the rental car, he called me to tell me the realtor just called to say the sellers accepted our offer! I was almost at the bottom of my post-stomach-bug-mid-traveling-with-toddlers pit of despair at the moment, so I don't think it fully registered until a day or two later.

Once we got home, we arranged an inspection, met with our mortgage broker, signed 800 pieces of paperwork (and we're not even to closing yet!), and as of yesterday, the option period is over and we are officially under contract! If all goes according to plan, we will close around the 29th... of July... as in, 2 weeks from tomorrow.

Am I freaking out a little bit? Yes. But quietly and on the inside at this point. So everyone please pray for Brian and our children because I know the external freakout is coming. And if I know myself, it will likely be at the end of a long work day when the kids are in bed and I'm buried in a pile of boxes trying to figure out where the packing tape is, and there's no time, there's never any time… you get the idea.

In the meantime, there is also that teeny tiny detail of putting our current house on the market. I know what you're thinking, and yes, we might be a little insane for waiting until this point to do so. However, with the market being as crazy as it is, we didn't want to risk selling our own house too quickly and having to settle on picking a house to buy. And we also weren't interested in having to live with our house constantly ready for showings for an extended period of time, because pretending like you don't live in your own house is never fun, especially when small children (and all of their stuff) are involved.

Our realtor's photographer is coming over to take pictures tomorrow and hopefully the house will go on the market that evening or Wednesday at the latest. And then, of course, ideally we'd have a few showings on Thursday and have the house sold by Friday. That sounds completely reasonable, right? ;) (Kidding, but based on our buying experience, it's totally possible!)

So anyway, that's what's going on in my life at the moment. I'll be sure to share more about the house once we actually move in, but in the meantime, here's a picture to hold you over:


Believe it or not, it's actually two stories, but definitely doesn't look like it from this angle!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Breckenridge in a not-so-concise nutshell

We're back! To say all's well that ends well would be a major understatement. Our trip to Colorado got off to a pretty rocky start (pun intended), but we had a great time and all of the exhaustion was well worth it!

Remember that vomiting episode Clara had the Friday before last that we attributed to drainage? Well apparently we were wrong. Unless drainage-induced vomiting is highly contagious. Brian and I both came down with that special stomach bug on Monday afternoon and by the time we picked the kids up from daycare, we both felt like death. 

It was a struggle to feed them and put them to bed, let alone finish packing and getting ready to leave the next morning. Thankfully the bug was short-lived, and although neither of us felt awesome when we woke up the next morning, miraculously we made it out of the house on time with all 4 of us and our luggage in tow.

Unfortunately our bad luck hadn't yet run out, because we arrived at the airport to find it busier than we'd ever seen it. We spent a painful hour and 15 minutes waiting just to CHECK IN, then rushed through security, only to be told that the airline had accidentally only printed a boarding pass for one of the twins. I wasn't sure at that point if I should swear, cry, or simply run into oncoming traffic to end my misery. 

Anyway, two plane rides, one layover, a 2+ hour car ride later, we made it to Breckenridge along with the Olivers and my parents. I might have melted down and cried like a baby when I realized at the very end of that terrible, no good, rotten day that my fluoride toothpaste had exploded all over my suitcase. I'm pretty sure the whole family was ready to push me off a nearby mountain, so allow me to publicly thank all of them for not doing so!

I will stop rambling now and share an absurd amount of pictures, because what's the point in taking a trip if you don't over-document it on your blog?

First flight! Fnally found an actual purpose for the SkyMall magazine - a morning snack!

My apologies to the next person that occupied that seat and desperately wanted to find out where to purchase a Big Foot garden yeti statue

Flirting with someone in the row behind us… one of Clara's favorite hobbies during this trip was waving and saying 'hi' to anyone that would listen!

Thank you, Lord, for puffs.

Layover in Austin- sorry, Davis, but had to share this one!

The twins did great on both flights, but we were very thankful to have my parents on the second leg of the voyage to help keep them entertained. Here's Colby with Franny checking out the clouds. 

The twins each took a (brief) snooze on the plane, both of which occurred on Daddy's shoulder. I, however, had zero sleeping occur on my watch, which was great, because it's not like I needed any rest or anything after my 3 rejuvenating hours of sleep the night before.

Rocking our minivan on the trip from Denver to Breckenridge- Clara slept while Colby mostly yelled and made me want to drink.

First dinner in Breckenridge; thanks to Allison's photo editing abilities, we don't look nearly as haggard as we felt in this picture.

First morning - view from our back porch!

Making a mess at breakfast

Thanks to these two little monkeys, approximately 2 minutes after this picture was taken, the baby gate was located and installed at the foot of the stairs.

Porch selfie with Mom

Yep, that's right, we matched semi-purposefully and we're not sorry about it.

Family photo shoot time! Don't the twins look thrilled?

We met up with my sweet friend, Elisa, and her husband and baby boy for lunch on the first day- the waitress thought she was our sister! Side note: our table included 8 adults, 1 child, 2 toddlers, and 2 babies, so as you can imagine, it was a very leisurely and relaxing meal ;)

Clara was acting like a wild banshee at one point and sometimes when times get desperate, you just need to let your kid play with a (dull) knife, am I right?

We took a gondola ride that afternoon and while half of the crew got off to ride the alpine slide, my parents and I opted to keep the twins contained by taking another loop. I don't even want to think about the potential diseases they contracted while touching every single surface of that thing. 

The twins were in rare form that evening, thanks to the time change, a routine change, and presumably teething, so my dad graciously offered to help me corral them at the house while everyone else went out to dinner. It was easily one of the most tiring hours of my life and I was literally sweating after we finally put them in bed. Good times.

Second morning - Allison with my gremlins

This was our weak attempt to keep them contained, and as you could have guessed, our efforts were largely futile. 

We took a walk into town every morning and can I just state the obvious and say that walking in July is a heck of a lot more enjoyable when this is your view and the temperature is closer to 50 degrees than 100 degrees?

We took a short hike to this scenic overlook and although my daughter looks like a ragamuffin, we were thankful to get a pic with such a beautiful backdrop!

Make that two family pics, but of course, expecting Clara to keep herself together for two poses in a row without the help of her pacifier was just too much to ask ;)

Unfortunately, we passed our stomach bug on to Davis, so in an attempt to take it easy that afternoon, we took a trip to a local park while my parents visited Vail (I know, pretty comparable activities, right?). Colby and Clara were as excited as they look about swinging- it was as if they were reuniting with an old friend!

Forget about the fact that the soccer ball says "Mexico" on it- how cute is this little girl??

Cute shot of Colby hanging out on the back porch- he graciously paused from rearranging the patio furniture to take this one.

We don't call her "Messy Misses" for nothing!

Third morning - checking out the 4th of July parade!

Can you tell we're related? Also, red/white/blue combo for the win!

I love these two patriotic little nuggets!

After the parade and a late breakfast, we took a drive up Boreas Pass, which served two purposes: more beautiful views and nap time for the wee ones! Mission accomplished on both fronts, thankfully.

We spent the rest of the afternoon/evening grilling out and hanging out at the house, and of course, we had to take some more family pictures. (The only way we were able to get the twins to cooperate was to let them stand rather than be held for the picture… gotta love toddlers and their perceived independence!)

Dad, Allison, me, and Mom - just missing Andrew and Elizabeth!

Cute shot of the kiddos hanging out in the woods

"Hmm, how hard would it be for me to rip the head off of this pretty flower?"

Saturday was spent packing up and hitting the road for Denver, followed by a direct flight home and a very late bedtime for the twins. We were thankful to have Sunday to rest (ha), unpack, do laundry, and store up just enough energy to make it through the work week. I really am a firm believer now that traveling with toddlers is a lot like running for a marathon without doing any real training beforehand, so as you can imagine, it might take us a while to truly recover from our "vacation" :)

But seriously, it was a memorable trip and one we're glad we took, if for nothing else than the photo opps- ha! Thanks for enduring this lengthy recap- you may now return to your regular blog programming!