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Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring has sprung

Yes, the warmer weather has arrived and although my allergies and pasty white skin aren't thrilled about the whole thing, we're doing our best to embrace the change in seasons and make the most of it.

We sported our cooler weather attire one last time last week... and apparently ate lollipops to commemorate the occasion:

We hit up an Easter egg hunt at a local church on Saturday, and although it was the twins' first time hunting for eggs, they didn't seem to have any trouble grasping the concept. They also didn't have any trouble grasping the concept that the eggs contained candy and MUST BE OPENED IMMEDIATELY FOR SAID CANDY TO BE UNWRAPPED AND EATEN.

Hey, Clara, don't look like you're enjoying yourself even the tiniest bit, ok?

Little Sebastian, is that you?? 

And yes, I did have to stop her from eating the goat's food. Once again, moments like this make me feel really warm and fuzzy about the fact that the twins regularly refuse the food we make and serve them but gleefully embrace eating food prepared for barn animals.

Mid-hug in front of the balloon carrot

Brian and his dad also put together the twins' (early) birthday present this weekend, and I'm really happy with how it turned out:

The twins were also really happy with how it turned out, as evidenced by the multiple tantrums that have ensued when we've insisted that it's time to stop swinging and come inside. Oh, toddlers, how I loathe admire your passion and persistence.

I caught all 3 of my peeps enjoying the new swing yesterday morning while I was getting ready for the day. Guess Brian didn't get the jammies memo:

We also enjoyed a visit yesterday from one of my high school besties and her husband (who run an organic farm in Maine!). We don't get to see them very often, so it was a nice treat to catch up, and a nice treat for them to experience the warm weather... and 4 active young children as an added bonus ;)

As I mentioned on facebook, I also spent a good portion of the weekend lamenting the fact that my babies are about to turn two and creating collages like these:

Ahh they were so little... and now they are so big. How did this happen? And how do I make it stop? And how many Reese's eggs can I eat to console myself before it's considered a problem?

To answer your question, yes, all of this activity (and emotional reflecting) has been pretty tiring for all of us, which explains why Colby ended up like this at dinner last night*. That, or the fact that he opted not to nap again yesterday afternoon:
*I say "night," but we went to eat at 4 pm, so maybe "late afternoon" would be a more appropriate term.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Five on Friday

1. Well, we did it. We finally introduced the kids to "Frozen" (thanks to my sweet pal, Heather)! The verdict?

Colby was pretty enthralled, although he would occasionally get distracted and ask us to watch a dump truck video (such a boy!)

Clara has actually yet to show interest and opted to play with her beloved stickers instead, but I caught her dancing to one of the songs, so I'm pretty sure she'll come around.

2. In other finally-jumping-on-the-bandwagon news, Brian and I started watching "Parenthood" this week. We're only a few episodes in, but I can already see why people love(d) the series so much- especially parents. But riddle me this: how on earth am I supposed to watch Lauren Graham's character and think of her as anyone other than Lorelai Gilmore?!

3. Remember the twins' new word for "diaper?"  Imagine my delight when we were 2 feet away from a woman in Target this past weekend and Clara pointed at her diaper and loudly exclaimed, "Mama! My poo poo!"

4. In case you and/or your children are fans of chicken nuggets, then you definitely need to try this recipe. Easy, tasty, and healthier than the frozen option. And if you aren't a fan of chicken nuggets, then I'm not sure we can continue to be friends.

5. These pictures have been posted outside of the twins' classroom for a few weeks and I had to take a pic before they came down. Love these little leprechauns!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

When God delays

So on the twins' 1st birthday last year (yes, the exact day), I came across the following devotional in this daily devotional book:

I don't know why I didn't blog about it at the time... probably because I was too busy wrapping my mind around the fact that the babies we had waited for for so very long were already turning one. But it certainly resonated with me then and I have thought back on it often, in no small part due to the fact that I saved this image on my phone.

I really don't believe in coincidences, and although you might think it's a stretch, I really do think that God had me in mind when he inspired the author to write those words and choose that date. Do I think that was His only purpose in this being written? Of course not, but the cool thing is that it was one of His many purposes in doing so.

Anyway, as another April 5th approaches and the twins get closer to turning two, I've been thinking more and more about this concept. We are obviously becoming further and further removed from the very painful infertility journey we were once on, but I haven't forgotten what that wait was like. How lonely it was. How excruciating it was. How discouraging it was. How trying it was.

But now, being well on the other side of the wait, I can attest to how necessary it was and how worth it it was. And yes, it was necessary and worth it for two very obvious reasons, for without that journey, we wouldn't have Colby and Clara.

But it was also necessary and worth it because as our patience grew (and oh, how it grew), so did our faith. And even though our long-time prayer has since been answered, I hope that we never forget the valuable lesson we learned about seeking God more than seeking His answers while we were waiting.

"Often God delays purposely, and the delay is just as much an answer to your prayer as is the fulfillment when it comes." - Emilie Barnes

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bye bye, fwenz

So as many of you read on facebook, we bit the bullet and gave Clara's pacifiers the boot this weekend. And by "gave them the boot," I mean that we decapitated them (cut the tips off the ends). Pretty harsh way to treat your kid's friends, I know, but gotta teach 'em young that life's not always rainbows and butterflies, right? ;)

We intended to do this around 18 months, but, well, we got lazy and didn't follow through, because as all wise parents ask themselves (especially when it comes to sleep): why mess with a good thing?

After 18 months, she was only allowed to have them for sleeping (at home; she hasn't used them at daycare in 6+ months) and in the car... and in the event of emergence tantrums/mood swings. About 1-2 months ago, we took them out of the car. And truth be told, she spent a couple of weeks after that being pretty whiney and needy while in the car. This did not give me any extra motivation to take them out of the crib!

Nonetheless, I was bound and determined to kick the habit before she turned 2, and given that the big day is just 2 weeks away, we figured it was now (Friday) or nothing. So here's how it went down:

- While Brian gave the twins a bath, I snuck the "friends" out of Clara's crib and performed the operation.

- Once she was ready for bed and climbed into my lap for us to read a book, she, as she always does, asked for her "fwenz." Not noticing the snipped tips, she put one in her mouth, pulled it away with a look of disgust, and looked up at me and said, "My fwenz! Help, please! Help, please!" And then my heart broke into a million pieces and I began to tear up.

I told her that her friends were broken and they couldn't be fixed, and then she whined for a minute until we distracted her with a book.

- She fussed about it again when we put her down to sleep, but was fine by the time we walked out of the room. I was fine, too, except for the crying and insistence that she is going to hate me forever and I am the worst mommy in the world- to all of which Brian just laughed!

- She slept fine and woke up in a good mood on Saturday, and didn't have any issues with her nap that afternoon. On Saturday night, Brian tried to hand them to her and she shook her head and said, "No fwenz!" and went right to sleep.

- I got a little brave for Sunday afternoon's nap and went ahead and removed them from her crib entirely, convinced she had already lost interest. Well about 1.5 hours into naptime, she STILL had not gone to sleep (which happens approximately never), so Brian went in and gave them back to her. And back to sleep she went.

So I suppose we'll leave them with her for now in their mutilated state and hope for the best. And remember, Clara, pacifiers or not, you're still our little baby... one of them anyway!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Built-in entertainment

I think Colby and Clara are highly entertaining. Sometimes intentionally and sometimes not so much. And I realize that with the exception of Brian, no one else is probably as amused by the following examples as I am, but what kind of mom would I be if I didn't leave embarrassing information about my kids on the internet for them to roll their eyes at years from now?

- We finally figured out this weekend that the word the twins use for "diaper" is "poo poo.*" Finding this out has cleared up a lot of confusion, as you can imagine. And it also prevented me from having to defend myself to Brian when I was carrying a diaper the other day and Colby declared very matter-of-factly, "Mama poo poo."

*For the record, I don't like the term "poo poo" (I prefer to keep it simple with just plain "poop.") (I'm so glad my mom doesn't read this blog because she would be mortified that I'm writing about this), but apparently they use it a lot at school because the twins have picked up on it.

- Brian's mom saved his collection of Transformers that he had as a child and we have recently started to pull some of them out for the twins to play with. Initially, Colby was the only one that showed any interest, but Clara has also jumped on the bandwagon and has even learned how to say "Optimus" (pronounced "Opis" or "Opmis").

And to answer your question, no, Brian has never been more proud in his life.

We have discovered that Colby prefers the Transformers to be in "vehicle" form, whereas Clara prefers them in "robot" form (or as she says it, "robop"). Inconveniently, however, Colby can't figure out how to put them into vehicle form without our help and Clara can't figure out how to put them in robot form without our help, both of which result in several frantic cries for help, typically from the back seat while we're driving.

It would be great if they could work together on this issue... think I could convince Daniel Tiger to write a little jingle about it?

When your transformer gets stuck, and you want to to cry, hand it to your twin, and let him/her try!

- We walked past a plus-sized store window recently and Colby pointed to the plus-sized manikin and yelled "MAMA!" And on a related note, I've gone back to tracking my food in MyFitnessPal and have lost 2 pounds this week ;)

I'm planning on a more thorough recap of their funny personalities in the near future, so stay tuned for more C&C entertainment!

Monday, March 16, 2015

A weekend tale of two toddlers

Brian and I both took vacation days on Friday, so Colby and Clara were the lucky recipients of three solid days with Mommy & Daddy. It was not exactly the most relaxing long weekend for the two oldest members of the family, but it was nice to have some extra time together, and - you guessed it - extra pictures to prove it!

So allow me to share with you the highlights for each of the twins from the weekend:

Clara enjoyed...

... the petting zoo at the Rodeo. She walked up to each animal, briefly touched it, occasionally said "hi," and then moved on to the next one. Mama was very impressed with her efficient approach ;)

... being my sidekick/shadow as usual.

... shopping for shoes, so much so that while we weren't watching, she took off her own shoes and neatly arranged them in an empty spot, presumably so she could try on whatever options looked appealing to her?

... stuffing her face with black beans, aka: her version of manna from Heaven.

... playing at the park and enjoying the fact that the sun was once again shining on Houston (though it is apparently going to disappear again soon... boo). 

Colby enjoyed...

... busting out his denim shirt and checking out the Rodeo, though he wasn't quite as enthused about the animals as his sissy.

... the tractors! You can't see it on his face here, but home boy loves him some moving vehicles, so he was very excited to get an up close and personal view of these "tah-tuhs."

... ok, he did not enjoy this, but it was too funny not to share. We parked in a remote lot and rode the metro to the Rodeo, and much to our surprise (given the fact above), Colby was for some reason terrified of the whole situation.

... wearing his chef hat! He seriously sported this thing all weekend.

... in fact, sometimes it was the only article of "clothing" he was sporting.

The twinkies both enjoyed...

... a few fruit pouches on the go, because who doesn't like food that requires basically zero effort to consume?

... eating raisins on the couch while watching TV with Daddy, a post-nap tradition at our house.

... trying out the new bench we got for our breakfast table. This might not have been a wise purchase on our part because I foresee it causing a lot of high chair protests in future.

... snack time after Sunday school. Also, did you notice that all 4 pictures of the two of them together involved eating?

And last, but certainly not least, these two goofballs enjoyed putting their "nigh-nighs" on their heads and running around crashing into each other:

Friday, March 13, 2015

Five on Friday

1. I painted my toes green for St. Patrick's Day. And on that note, it probably doesn't surprise you to learn that I was also the girl in high school that changed the color of the rubberbands on my braces to match the nearest holiday...

2. Brian and I saw "Once," the musical, for a client event for his company on Wednesday and I really enjoyed it! I was expecting a typical (cheesy) musical experience, but that was not the case. And now I'm pretty sure I'll have this song in my head for weeks to come:

I was also a big fan of this one, for the record.

3. We're taking the kids to the rodeo today and I am almost as excited about eating a fried Oreo as I am about showing the twins all the animals, tractors, and rides. In case you aren't familiar with the (mostly fried) fare of the Houston rodeo, then you need to check out this Buzzfeed article.

#4 & #5. This one has been in a great mood all week...

... as has this one!

They have also both been extra chatty and talking our ears off, which results in plenty of car-ride entertainment. 

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Coming never to an etsy shop near you!

Having decided to do a family brunch for the twins' birthday rather than an actual party, we aren't planning to buy decorations and put together something super themey, because hello, that would sort of defeat the purpose of not planning an actual party. Nonetheless, I still want the house to look festive and include some details that suggest I at least made some effort!

I had noticed a few examples of bunny "garland" on pinterest and thought they looked easy enough, so on Sunday, I decided to get crafty and make my own. Allow me to share with you the super complex process of creating your very own bunny rabbit garland/banner:

1. Gather scrapbook paper. I had some leftover from the twins' first birthday party, so I used that. And allow me to make a confession: the peach-colored paper I used for the bunnies actually came from a giant book of scrapbook paper that I bought for my wedding scrapbook 8 years ago. Hoarding for the win!

2. Cut out 4 bunting flags/pendants/whatever the heck those things are called. You can find templates online, OR if you own a ruler, you can make your own with minimal effort. Oh, for what it's worth, mine were about 5" wide and 7" tall.

3. Print out a bunny silhouette. I used this one. Make sure to make it the correct size proportional to your flags.

4. Trace the bunny onto scrapbook paper and cut out 4 bunnies. Enlist your husband to help if you don't have the patience to do all 4.

5. Hole punch the flags and the bunnies (2 holes in each).

6. Using twine, ribbon, or a string from an unraveled sock for all I care, string the flags and bunnies together.

7. You're done.

And here is the finished product:

I suppose you could be cutesy and put cotton balls on the bunnies to make them look like tails... but you could also not do that and save 5 minutes of your time, so it's your call!

So there you have it, my friends- the first and probably final crafty "how to" post I will ever write! :)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Just hanging with my peeps

I hope you all really appreciate the fact that I put together a blog post for today, because not only was there a time change yesterday, but it was also cold and rainy outside, aka: the perfect day for someone with zero responsibilities and/or someone that feels no guilt over being lazy and unproductive. But alas, I'm not either of those, so here we are.

Unlike last weekend, no tiny people kept us house-bound by being miserably ill. They were thankfully both in pretty good moods, with the exception of Friday evening, during which they were quite possibly simultaneously possessed by a demon:

Why, you ask? Because we refused to let them eat grapes and ONLY grapes for dinner. We had the audacity to insist that they either eat the accompanying grilled cheese (the horrors) or nothing at all.

But let's rewind to Friday afternoon where I (a) got several inches of hair chopped off and (b) took a gratuitous picture of the cottonwood trees that just bloomed on my street:

Thankfully, there were no fruit fights on Saturday and miraculously, we made it through the day without any major toddler (or mommy) meltdowns at all. Dare I say, it was actually a pretty perfect day, and once you hear about it, you might think my standards are a little low... but if that's the case, then you are probably not the working parent of small children and you and your high standards can take a hike.

Clara subscribes to the theory that if one FitBit band helps you lose weight, then wearing 5 at a time would surely help you lose 5 times the weight, right? Although her post-breakfast belly might suggest otherwise.

Apparently Sugar Land has an annual kite festival- who knew? We decided to check it out with the Olivers and it did not disappoint. Yes, there was kite-flying, but more importantly, there was a wide open field in which the kids could roam freely! 


See that threenager in the background with sunglasses and a beanie? That would be their cousin, Davis!

The three musketeers (and their three miniature stuffed cows, courtesy of the Chick Fil A booth!)

I couldn't get Colby or Clara to pose for a selfie with me, but sweet Avery was more than willing

After lunch and naps (that really shouldn't be plural given that Colby spent the entirety of the 2.5 hours playing in his crib), we headed to Great Harvest to redeem this beautiful work of art for a cookie the size of my head:

We finished off the day playing at the park, eating dinner at Freebirds, getting some frozen yogurt at Menchie's, and finally, a slightly early bedtime for the twins and catching up on all of the tv shows we missed while dedicating our lives to Gilmore Girls. In other words, a pretty wonderful Saturday afternoon/evening.

Um how cute are these babes (all 5 of them)? (No, I'm not hitting on my brother-in-law, but it seemed rude to leave him out...)

Sunday also turned out to be pretty great, thanks in no small part to the twins' 3-hour nap (and once again, Colby spent all 3 hours playing while we had to actually wake Clara up) and a visit + dinner with Brian's fam. 

I know I've said it before and I'll say it again: I realize this blog has come to basically consist of weekend recaps, and while part of me feels kind of bad about that, the other part of me thinks that's actually pretty reflective of my life at the moment. Don't get me wrong- I make the most of the weekdays, too, but I get to spend very little of them with the ones I love most, so it only makes sense that the weekends are what I actually want to write about :)