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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Such extreme highs and lows

Things that are getting on my nerves: 
1. The weather forecast for this week is perfect (sorry, Northern readers!). Sunny with highs in the 70s. Saturday and Sunday (aka: the only 2 days I get to see daylight and play with the twins), however? Temperatures in the 50s with a 70-90% chance of rain.

2. That pesky full-time job of mine is also preventing me from spending all of my waking hours watching Gilmore Girls. I still have 3.5 seasons to get through before I'm finished and I just don't know logistically how I will accomplish this task while working AND parenting.

3. Most of the contestants on The Bachelor. Oh, and the bachelor himself. I'm enjoying watching this season with my sis and some friends, but these people are truly, mind-numbingly exasperating. Except for Becca- I like her... I think.


Things that aren't getting on my nerves:
1. The twins like what we made for dinner this week! Pre-children, it wasn't a huge deal if whatever we made for dinner for the week wasn't a big hit because we usually just ate it anyway and moved on with our lives. When Colby and Clara don't enjoy what we made, however, there is whining, yelling, and lots of violent utensil-throwing.

2. I'm not going to give specifics yet, but our days of paying two mortgages will be over soon, Lord willing!

3. Ok, sorry for talking about The Bachelor twice in one post (you can blame Allison), but this SNL spoof of the show was too funny not to share:

Monday, January 26, 2015

Gender stereotyping for the win!

I've come to you this week with even more deep thoughts to share: dressing Clara for church is way more fun than dressing her for school. Unlike Colby, there are several items of Clara's clothing that either aren't practical for her to wear to school or that I just don't want her to risk ruining (although truth be told, they typically come home from daycare much cleaner than they are after a day at home).

And because I want there to be proof that I do put bows in my daughter's hair, allow me to share a few with you:

This is the smocked owl dress that I spend an absurd amount of money on and blogged about back in the Spring. Worth every penny, I must say, because it has room for her to grow and more importantly, she looks so darn cute in it! (Also, please note how pleased Colby is that he's getting to play with his coveted unsharpened pencil and notepad... funny kid.) 


I think I want to wear this outfit myself, white fluffy vest and all.

I triple dog dare you to find anything cuter than a miniature pea coat. With gold flats. And tights with gold bows on them. And don't even get me started on the fact that her dress (and matching bow) are maroon!!

Ok, I'm done reveling in my girl(y) mom-ness. But I don't have anything more exciting to say, so I'm just going to leave you with a few more pictures from this weekend that incorrectly suggest I don't actually have a son as well:

Actually, if you look closely, that cute son of mine is making a cameo in the reflection of Clara's shades!

Post-nap hair always accompanies post-nap confusion

Avery and Clara hanging out at the park yesterday... more interested in picking up rocks than smiling for the camera.

And lastly, proof that I do have a son. I think it's safe to say there's enough "boy" going on in this picture that other pictures aren't even necessary :)


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Start 'em young

I was relieved to hear that so many of you were able to relate to my last post! I'm relieved that Michelle Duggar didn't read it and try to convince me that I'm missing out. And that she didn't try to convince me of the benefits of wearing full-length denim skirts on a regular basis.

Anyway, in case you're wondering just how heavily this whole what-to-do-with-our-frozen-embryos-and-when-to-do-it has been weighing on my mind, you should know that I recently dreamed that I offered some of them (the embryos) to my high school Homecoming date. For some strange reason, he politely declined, so I decided to take a trip to the fertility clinic (along with my co-worker and her cousins) to go ahead and have two of the embryos transferred... without telling Brian. Good choices all around, I'd say.

Now back to the children that aren't currently frozen: yesterday was their first trip to the dentist! It seemed a little silly to me to take them this young, but all of the other toddler moms were doing it so I felt obligated. Plus, I figured it was good to go ahead and get into the habit of taking them regularly now rather than later.

The appointment started off a little rocky since Colby and Clara both seem to assume that any time we go to a new place, we plan to leave them there and abandon them forever. Clara made a great first impression on the office staff by throwing herself on the floor when I refused to take her outside:


Thankfully they warmed up once we got inside the office, due in large part to the presence of stuffed animals. The dentist was really friendly and gave us a good report on both of the munchkins' mouths (which he was able to see very clearly, thanks to their screaming). He even told us that Clara's pacifier use was not a concern and that it was fine as long as she got rid of them by age FOUR. I'm glad she couldn't understand what he was saying and won't try to use it as leverage when we do cut the cord (or more accurately, the tips of her "fwenz") in the very near future. 



We were sent on our way with water bottles (for the adults), stickers, bouncy balls, balloons, toothbrushes, toothpaste, AND these keepsake magnets that truly show the joy and excitement that the twins experienced at their first trip to the dentist:



I think you'll agree that McKayla Maroney has nothing on these two.

Monday, January 19, 2015

On a more serious note

In place of the normal weekend recap, I'm here to bring you some deep thoughts to start off the week. This topic/question has randomly been coming up a lot lately, and I'm sure some of you are in the same boat, so I thought I'd share my thoughts...

I don't think I want to have any more kids. I know that probably sounds terrible coming from someone who would have given all of her appendages to obtain children a few short years ago, but it's true.

I didn't spend all of my pre-child days dreaming of having one boy and one girl- in fact, I always said I wanted three (saying I wanted two just felt like I was aiming to be average, ha!). And it still annoys me when people tell me how lucky we were to "be finished in just one shot" by having one of each at the same time (especially if they knew how many "shots" IVF actually entailed ;), as if any other number or combination was less than perfect.

But I would also be lying if I didn't say that having one of each allows us to experience the best of both worlds. And with two, we aren't outnumbered. Life, though chaotic and very full, still feels manageable... and if you know me, you know that I like manageable!

The interesting thing about having two at one time (and no more) is this: it's sad to think of all of the things that you only get to do once- the cuteness of the newborn days, the excitement of new milestones, eventually the first day of school, etc. But at the same time, it's also a relief to think of all of the things that you only have to do once- the exhaustion of the newborn days, the stress of transitioning from one life stage to the next, and heck, even eventually the awkwardness of middle school!

And the latter sentiment is really where my mind is stuck these days. I feel like I spent the first year of the twins' lives in a fog, and in their second year of life, I finally feel like we have the hang of this life-as-a-family-of-four thing and it seems like only a crazy person would mess that up. But considering people have more than one child (or in our case, more than two at one time) ALL THE TIME, it can't be all that crazy.

I would dare to say, however, that moms of multiples are slightly more shell-shocked and that perhaps the PTSD that results from ensuring the survival of more than one infant at a time lingers a little longer. Which might explain why, every time I hear about someone with a child around the twins' age being pregnant with another, I am baffled. How is anyone ready to do this all over again?!

But of course, deciding if/when we're "done" is not as cut and dry as it is for most couples because if you'll recall (or in case you never caught it in the excitement of finding out our first round of IVF was successful), we still have 4 frozen embryos in the bank! So if we really and truly think Colby and Clara are "it," then we still have some tricky decisions to make.

Thankfully, we don't have to decide anything any time soon. So unless/until we sense some clear direction from God on the topic, we can keep putting off the decision (to the tune of several hundred dollars a year- thank you, freezer fees!) for years and years to come. And while I dislike nothing more than procrastination, I'm awfully thankful for the option right now!

So that's where we stand. For those of you in a similar boat, feel free to share your thoughts or experiences! In the meantime, I'll be enjoying our "average" life as a family of four...


Monday, January 12, 2015

Using the term "highlights" loosely

And just like that, we survived the first full week back to "normalcy." Readjusting to the lack of sleep, food, and fun, left some of us crankier than others, but we made it through and that's all that matters.

For a relatively uneventful weekend, we still had some pretty eventful highlights:

- Colby got his 2nd haircut! Just like the first time, there were lots of tears, but unlike the first time, he came out of this haircut looking more like a little boy than a baby and I'm not sure how I feel about it (you can't really tell from this pic, so just take my word for it). Regardless, he is still the handsomest!


- We had a double date SANS CHILDREN with the Olivers! Thanks to the generosity of two sets of grandparents (and an aunt), we were able to enjoy dinner without any screaming, utensil-throwing, high chair escaping, or episodes of "Elmo's World" playing on the iPhone. We did briefly discuss the potty habits of our children, but we mostly stuck to adult conversation (read: lots and lots of "that's what she said" jokes.)

- We visited a new church (also with the Olivers... shocking, I know) and enjoyed it! We'll be back next weekend so stay tuned.

- By some act of God, we did not once feed the twins chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese. And if you spend any time around picky toddlers, then you understand why that was monumental enough to make this list of highlights.

Not sure how this week can top that excitement, but we'll try. I'll leave you with one more pic:

Just watching a little football and eating some raisins after nap time

Friday, January 9, 2015

I have to be honest about a few things

1. I like writing the number '4' more than the number '5.' I just think my 5s look ugly. So now that 2015 has arrived, I'm really not enjoying having to write down the date.

See what I mean? It's so much uglier. The 5 looks like it has a flattop haircut.

2. We recently made our first purchase from overstock.com and while we were very pleased with it, I am not so pleased with the 800 thousand e-mails I have received from them since then. I’m thinking about sending them a copy of He's Just Not That Into You (… or maybe just unsubscribing from their e-mails).

Here's the purchase nonetheless!

3. I have already started seeing ads for items pertaining to EASTER (I'm looking at you, zulily and Smocked Auctions). The twins’ birthday happens to fall on Easter Sunday this year, so I wish everyone would cut it out with the reminders that my teeny tiny babies are about to turn TWO.

4. On that note, I'm thinking about not doing an actual birthday party for them this year. I know a few of you have gone this route, so any thoughts/suggestions on how to still celebrate?

5. I have a few recipe boards on Pinterest, but finally decided to create a separate one yesterday entitled, "Meals the Twins Actually Eat." This is both depressing (because their toddler pickiness warrants a board entirely separate from the meals we normally cook) and immensely helpful at the same time!

6. I just want to drop out of society and watch "Gilmore Girls" 24 hours a day. Make that 12 hours- I'll spend the other 12 sleeping.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My 2015 non-resolutions

So I am not really a resolution-ist. Sometimes I set a goal or two at the beginning of the year, but I don't like to try things that I'm likely not to be successful at doing, so I typically aim pretty low. Admirable, right? If you don't believe me, then you should know that two of my favorite non-resolutions from years past were (1) to stop swallowing my gum and (2) do more math in my head rather than relying on the calculator. I was successful at one of them but I'll leave you to guess which one it was.

From 2010-2012, my annual non-resolution was simply (ha!) to get pregnant. And then in 2013 and 2014, my non-resolution was simply (ha!) to keep two infants alive. Now that those infants are toddlers and creeping their way (VERY SLOWLY) toward some (VERY TINY) semblance of self-sufficiency, I figured it's safe for me to aim a little higher. But the emphasis is on "a little."

In hopes of obtaining some accountability (but mostly so that these are written down somewhere other than on my phone), allow me to share with you some of my non-resolutions with you for 2015:

1. Lift weights at least 1x/week.
I don't have a gym membership and my workout time is limited, so if you have any quick at-home weight routines, please share. Oh, and all I have is one set of 3-pound weights, one set of 5-pound weights, a resistance band, and two 25ish-pound toddlers, so I have to work with that.

2. Stop cussing.
I am embarrassed to admit to this one, because quite frankly, I enjoy maintaining my appearance as a straight-laced goody goody. But I have been feeling very convicted about my language and in the interest of keeping it real, I'm sharing it. I honestly don't cuss very often in my everyday speech, BUT I have a bad habit of slipping when I lose my temper, and let's just say that having children has resulted in me losing my temper... um... constantly.

Also in the interest of disclosure, I already failed at this on January 2nd when Clara hit me in the eye with a book (yes, on purpose). Thank God that His mercies are new every morning, am I right?



3. Go to a Girls' Night Out movie.
I haven't seen a movie in a theater since February 2013 (Silver Linings Playbook during our mini-babymoon), so this is a loftier goal than you might realize. But with movies like Titanic, Clueless, and You've Got Mail on the list, how could I not commit to this? Allison has already agreed to join me, so anyone else in?

4. Eat a meal alone with Brian at least 2x/month.
I think I've stated before that I'm not a huge fan of the term "date night," but I am a fan of the concept of spending time alone together on purpose. We have not been great at doing that since the twins were born, but since we have better access to (free!) babysitters than we did for the first year of their life, I want to be better at taking advantage.

And I also want to be better at taking advantage of the not-free-but-already-paid-for childcare that we have during weekdays and plan some time together during lunch breaks, Friday afternoons when I'm off work, etc.

5. Find a regular doctor and get a basic physical.
As you're all well aware, I spent a LOT of time at doctors' offices in the years leading up to the twins' birth. So you better believe I've enjoyed taking a hiatus from doing so for the past 1.5 years. However, now that I'd like my body to function for purposes other than reproducing, I think it would be wise to get a basic check-up to see where I stand.

6. Get involved in some form or fashion at church.
We've been visiting a church for the past year or so, and while we still aren't 100% sure that we want to become members there, we're hoping to plant our roots there or elsewhere soon. And once we do, I'd like to actually get plugged in, whether that be joining a small group, volunteering, or something of the like. Much like #5 wherein doctor-overkill resulted in a doctor-hiatus, being on staff at a church for the first several years of our marriage resulted in a being-fully-involved-at-church hiatus. And it would be great to remedy that.


So there you go! Like I said, nothing lofty, but all very achievable and beneficial to my overall physical/mental/spiritual/emotional well-being. Feel free to harass me about any of the above as the year continues, and feel free to share some of your non-resolutions in the comments!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Twenty-one months

At 21 months, Clara:

- is still a big fan of her Wubbanubs (thankfully only in the crib and car... maybe one day we'll be brave enough to give them the boot) and now refers to them as her "fwenz" (friends). This is because every morning when she wakes up, we tell her to "tell her friends 'bye bye.'"


- is very into accessories, particularly shoes, jackets/vests, and bracelets. When she opened a new vest from her Aunt Shannon for Christmas, she insisted on putting it on immediately.


- still refers to her brother as "Rah-rah" (the name he uses for her).

- would most certainly identify herself as a mama's girl, though she of course loves her daddy dearly, too. If she's in my presence, there's a very good chance that you'll find her climbing all over me and insisting on me holding her.


- has quite the temper and let's just say her emotions escalate quickly. This makes it very hard to discipline her because when she's mad or upset, anything you do only makes her more mad or upset... we're still trying to figure out what will work consistently to calm her down. Why don't children come with a "reset" button (or a "mute" button, for that matter...)??

- loves to dance and play "Ring Around the Rosie" (aka: "Asha Asha DOW!!").


- enjoys being around people, and more specifically, enjoys being the center of attention.

- likes to put her feet on the table during meals and has been known to pull her socks off with her teeth...? Let's hope she kicks these habits before she starts dating.


- has recently taken an interest in Elmo and various characters from "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" (Minnie and Toodles being her favorites).


At 21 months, Colby:

- thinks the most fun game in the world is playing keep-away from his sister. He loves to steal her "fwenz" and make her chase him around the room to get them back, sometimes even sticking them in his mouth just to taunt her.


- is a bookworm! He will happily sit in your lap and read book after book - as long as he gets to pick the book and can control the pace of page-flipping :)


- though not quite as temperamental as his sister, can be pretty aggressive. We recently received a note from daycare informing us that they had to talk to Colby about using "gentle hands" with his friends. We have all 3 been victims of his not-so-gentle hands... and his not-so-gentle throwing of inanimate objects!

- is sensitive at the same time. He gets his feelings hurt very easily and knows how to turn on the water works to make you feel sorry for him. Once again- not making it very easy to discipline!!

- loves to give hugs and will often try to cheer "Rah-rah" up when she's having a fit. He seems to know, however, to keep a safe distance, lest he be a victim of her rage.

- is a big fan of "guh-guhs" (trucks), which still seems to apply to any moving vehicle.


- loves everything involving sleep: his stuffed animals (I am not exaggerating when I say that he sleeps with 8-9 of them every night), his "nigh-nigh" (blanket), and even the "bah bahs" (stars) and "MOO!" (moon) projected on his ceiling. This love, however, does not extend to actually sleeping at naptime. He stays in his crib for 2-2.5 hours, but generally only sleeps for 45 minutes to an hour- if we're lucky.


- is really good at puzzles! And while I know it's not fair to compare, I've noticed that this is a stronger skill for him than Clara, and I think it's most likely because he's more patient and thinks before he acts, whereas home girl just plain acts.

- claps and stomps his feet when he gets really excited about something, whether it be bath time, a particularly exciting snack, or a rousing rendition of the "B-I-N-G-O" song.


- is very much a daddy's boy. He is constantly asking "dada?" and smiles and runs to him whenever he walks into the room (even if he just left 30 seconds prior).


I really can't believe they're about to be TWO, but their tantrums and generally manic behavior make it a little easier to believe ;) Nonetheless, it's pretty fun to watch their not-so-little personalities develop and I'm looking forward to that continuing as they "mature" (I use that term loosely). 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Ringing in 2015

So here we go with the first post of 2015! It will not be anything deep or reflective, BUT it will be very similar to every other post I write, and why not start the year off on a consistent note?

I'm sad to report that we didn't end 2014 very pleasantly, as we found out on the afternoon of NYE that the second set of potential buyers backed out of the contract. We are hopeful that new buyers will come along soon and that the third time's the charm (rather than the whole "bad things come in threes" theory). 

Nonetheless, we still had fun celebrating the end of one year and beginning of another with - who else? - the Olivers. We headed to Cheesecake Factory for an early dinner and although the service was terrible, the food was still tasty and the 3 toddlers in attendance only acted like... well... toddlers for a small portion of the meal.

We were getting the twins dressed before leaving the house and Clara decided she needed Colby's vest more than he did... on top of the vest she was already wearing.

I really can't handle the cuteness of a miniature pea coat. Especially one with a hood.

Clara and Avery scheming about how to break open the glass and steal the teddy bears while we waited to be seated

We're so fancy, we already know...

After dinner, we put the kiddos to bed and stayed up to enjoy sophisticated adult NYE activities, which included the following:

- playing guitar hero
- playing Cards Against Humanity (wherein Allison narrowly beat me, which I insist is only because it was late and I had lost my edge)
- taking selfies
- eating chips and queso
- having a dance party



Did you realize there are 2 different (beautiful) people featured in this montage? We tricked some of you, didn't we?


Somehow, we all stayed up until midnight to watch the ball drop, but you better believe I was in bed and asleep by 12:15. And you also better believe that the twins, who have been sleeping in lately until the glorious hour of 8 or 8:30 am, decided that the first day of the year was a great day to wake up at 7 am. (I know most of you don't feel sorry for me because your kids always wake up that early or earlier, but remember for a moment that we all have to get up extra early on weekdays!).

Clara decided to join me for some more selfies...






We busted out of the house for some early morning grocery shopping and a quick visit to play with our friend, Hayes, who generously bestowed Clara with a belated new year's kiss!



And another first for Clara: her first legitimate ponytail! 
I love it but hate the fact that she looks like a teenager already.


Meanwhile, Colby spent a good part of the day getting in touch with his inner introvert. He was actually in a good mood, just caught one of his forlorn faces here.

And with that, 2015 is officially underway! Brian and I both have to head back to work today, but since the twins' daycare is closed, they get to spend the morning with their Auntie "Peekie" (Allison) (and they actually call her "pee-pee") and cousin Avery until I get home. Wish Aunt Pee-pee luck!