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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Things you could find me googling in 2016

Well. I think we can all agree that 2016 was a doozy. In addition to the Big Problems going on with the election drama, all the famous people dying, oh, and let's not forget terrorism and worldwide human rights violations, 2016 proved to bring challenges for our little family as well.

None of it was anything major, really- just a culmination of transitions and challenges and general life happenings that I struggled to handle and accept in a sane manner, which humbled me and eventually sent me into counseling in the Fall (thank you, God, that there are people that choose to allow strangers to unload all of their baggage on them for a living!).

Through the frustrations, there were still plenty of happy moments and I'm thankful that by the grace of God, I will likely hold onto the good memories from the year longer than the bad ones. I figured that in this day in age, the best way to recap the year was to share a few of the phrases my Google search history from 2016 might contain:

- Tips for potty training boy/girl twins

- How long does the 3-day potty training method actually take?

- How long do children continue having accidents after being potty trained?

[Do you sense a theme here?]

- Tips for dealing with contractors on home remodeling

- How long do master bathroom remodels usually take?

- What's the difference between minispread, widespread, and centerset faucets?

- How to sustain your marriage during a remodel

- What do do when your contractor is taking a sweet eternity to finish a remodel

- Tips for transitioning room-sharing twins from cribs to beds

- How to stop twins from playing together after bedtime

- How to keep children from using potty training as a bedtime stall tactic

- How to discipline a threenager two threenagers

- Do children get easier at age 4?

- How to keep children at the dinner table once they're out of booster seats

- Can I duct tape my children to their chairs during mealtime?

- Why would an otherwise healthy adult catch Hand, Foot, & Mouth disease 3 times?

- When will the oil and gas industry pick up?


- What to do when your child(ren) refuse(s) to participate in organized sports?

- What to expect with a tonsillectomy for a 3.5-year-old

2016: you put up a good fight, but you did not defeat us. 2017: bring it on... we're ready for you!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas 2016

I know I'm not alone when I say that I'm currently stuck in that vortex between Christmas and New Year's Eve where I have no concept of what day it is or what I'm supposed to be doing. Nonetheless, I can't let the week pass without recapping the wonderful chaos that was our 2016 Christmas.

We kicked off the celebrating so many weeks ago I've lost count on Christmas Eve Eve. After the twins' got home from school, we made cookies for Santa and assembled reindeer food so that Rudolph and his friends wouldn't feel left out. 

Then we headed out to look at neighborhood lights with the Olivers in the brisk 75-degree weather, where the highlight for Colby was seeing a dead duck in someone's yard... boys are neat.

We kicked off Christmas Eve with breakfast and present-exchanging with the Olivers, which was a few new tradition that I hope we can continue!

Couldn't love these 4 cuties anymore if I tried!

I'm not motivated enough to turn this picture upside down, but trust me when I say she was really excited about these princesses

Ditto on this guy's love for his new remote-controlled BB-8

We spent the rest of Christmas Eve with Brian's family, complete with endless snacks, early gifts for the twins, a "made in America" gift exchange, and of course, countless attempts at pictures thanks to my always patient SIL!

My two favorite guys in matching shirts

Love these sillies

How cute is she??

And how handsome is he?? (Sorry, I can't help myself.)

After getting the twins in their jammies (and forcing another picture), we headed home to take care of the Christmas Eve necessities: sprinkling reindeer food on the lawn, setting out cookies for Santa and carrots (also for those spoiled reindeer), read about baby Jesus being born, and set up our camera to capture Santa in action.

Christmas morning with the twins went about as well as we could have hoped! They were so excited about their goodies from Santa, and since this was our first time since they were born (in our entire marriage, actually) to wake up at our own house on Christmas, we were able to take it easy and move at our own pace.

Finding their elf, Jingle Bells, one final time!

We eventually changed out of our jammies and headed over to Brian's parents' house to open more presents (we were so spoiled, as always!) and spend the day with his extended family. 

Brian enjoying his new virtual reality glasses

Group selfie, thanks to Shannon's selfie stick!

Brian and I spent the evening trying to make room for all of the new STUFF while the twins bounced off the walls in their room for a solid two hours after bedtime. I wouldn't say it was a calm and peaceful Christmas ending, but a typical one at least :)

My parents came to visit for the next couple of days after Christmas, where we were showered with more generous gifts (and food)! I guess I was tired of picture-taking because I don't have much to document our time together besides this shot of the cousins before opening their presents from Franny & Pop Pop:

So yes, it was a very merry Christmas (marathon) indeed- hope yours were equally merry!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Colby & Clara-isms: Christmas edition

I know I wrote one of these posts just last month, but the twins have said and done so many amusing things surrounding Christmas that I had to compile another list to share:

When we started listening to Christmas music, there was about a one-week period where the only Christmas song Colby would allow us to play in the car without protesting was "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"... by Weezer. Not quite the Amy Grant-esque Christmas tune I'm used to! (Relatedly, he is convinced the lyrics actually say, "We wish you a very Christmas.")

Clara, while attempting to quote Santa: Ha ha ha, happy birthday! (Instead of "ho ho ho, merry Christmas")

The twins have a Fisher Price nativity set and Colby keeps referring to it as the "new-tivity."

Clara, while roaming the aisles of Target with me: Do you want to get a present for baby Jesus for his birthday?
Me: Like what?
Clara: Hmm... maybe a Transformer or a princess??

When the twins first saw the Christmas decorations around the house, Colby noticed this holly berry tree and exclaimed, "Mommy, I love your apple mountain!"

Our sweet neighbors gave Clara this toy, and every time we refer to it as a snowman, she corrects us sternly and insists that it's a bird.

Remember how Colby has a habit of adding "y" to the end of words as a term on endearment? He recently asked if he could call "Jingle Bells" (their elf), "Jingle Belly."

When the twins watched "The Polar Express" this past weekend and the movie had ended, the twins were quiet for a moment before Colby very dryly stated, "Trains are so dangerous." So glad he found a relevant takeaway!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

All's well that ends with cookies

Do you want to hear a funny joke? Ok here goes:

I took a vacation day on Friday to get a few things done, but also to have some time to myself. HA HA HA. That's the joke. Hysterical, right?

I'm sure many of you read my rant on facebook, so I won't repeat it, but suffice it to say it wasn't the semi-leisurely day I expected. In keeping with that theme, we dropped the twins off at school that morning looking like this:

Festively dressed and ready for their Christmas program that afternoon 

However, when it was time for them to join their class and make their debut on "stage" for the program, imagine my surprise to see them looking like this:

Is she happy? Yes. But is she also wearing an Easter shirt that's one size too small, a pair of shorts, and her shoes on the wrong feet? Also yes.

A few seconds later, out pops Colby, sporting a back-up pair of athletic pants and, yes, also his one-size-too small Easter shirt.

Apparently both of the twins had accidents that day, and their backup clothes happen to be shirts from last Easter (one less item I had to label because their names were already on the front, duh). I certainly didn't expect them to be Christmas program attire.

Here's where you chime in with all of the "at least they matched!" and "kids don't care what they're wearing anyway" comments. And you're correct. But I care what they're wearing and I was truthfully disappointed. Nonetheless, the program was fine. They didn't sing and Colby spent the majority of the performance turned around facing the wall, but that was not really a surprise to anyone.

After the show was done, I loaded them up into Brian's parents' car and sent them on their way (hallelujah!) while the Olivers and I met up with Brian in town for a Christmas dinner date at Cyclone Anaya's

We somewhat inadvertently consumed "jumbo" margaritas and therefore some points of the evening were a bit dicey for this lightweight, but all in all we had a great time (as we always do with our partners in crime). 

After dinner, we drove around River Oaks to try and guess how much they had to pay people to decorate look at the lights

Brian and I spent the night at Hotel Sorella and after breakfast and a couple of errands the next morning, we picked up the rugrats and headed back home for the day. The very, very long day. Clara was not feeling great (ear infection that won't die) and spent the day in a very fragile state. It was irritating and sad all at the same time.


We did cut out paper snowflakes and watch "The Polar Express," so at least there was some festivity incorporated in our otherwise uneventful day at home.

We woke up to a 40-degree drop in temperature on Sunday morning and though it made it hard to get moving and out the door to church, I will not complain because this is what the week before Christmas is supposed to feel like!

We ducked out of church early to attend a birthday party, aka: the twins' favorite pastime, in case you weren't already aware;

From there, I was off to co-host the 7th annual cookie exchange with two of my sweet friends! 

Mine are the ones on the bottom left (recipe here)

And with that, our final weekend before Christmas was complete. Looking forward to a short work week ahead and then ELEVEN days off of work! Oh, right, and celebrating the birth of Jesus - that is obviously at the top of the list :)