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Monday, February 27, 2017

Celebrating love and presidents

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love holidays a billion times more now that we have kids. I like dressing them according to the theme and giving them festive food and picking out little presents for them and all of those other little things that are seemingly unimportant but will hopefully some day make them look back and smile.

Knowing they might not cooperate for posed pictures on Valentine's Day morning (with a very narrow window between them waking up and us having to leave for work/school), so I forced a quick photo session before church the Sunday before. 

This was the winner, but the un-cropped version... please note Iron Man's legs in the top right.

I had to share this one just because of Colby's face. His expressions are seriously amazing.

The night before Valentine's Day, Brian and Colby mysteriously disappeared for a few minutes and then returned to the house with flowers for me and Clara. Mine were a little fancier, but Clara of course didn't notice and was quite pleased to have her own flowers in her own vase to display in her room.

How cute is this sweet little guy?

On Valentine's Day, we picked up donuts for the twins for breakfast and used them as bribes to participate in another quick photo opp... it worked! 

They opened their presents while they ate breakfast (off of heart-shaped plates, of course), and then we headed off to school with their first ever "Valentime's Day" boxes (and valentines to exchange) in tow.

Once everyone made it to school/work, the morning took an eventful turn when tornadoes were spotted in the area. I got to spend some quality time with my co-workers in the stairwell while the kids obliviously took shelter at daycare. The storm thankfully passed quickly and just in time for my company's fundraiser bake sale to kick off. Allison stopped by to pick up a treat for Wade/confuse people that work with me that didn't know I had a twin:

Brian picked me up for a quick lunch date to La Madeleine and I took advantage of Instagram's "my story" filters to document the occasion:

We finished the day off with a double date with our favorite 3-year-olds at Lupe Tortilla. It was surprisingly uncrowded and there were also a decent number of other families there doing the same thing, so at least we didn't feel like we were crashing people's romantic evening out!

The following weekend was an extra long one thanks to Presidents' Day (and thanks to both mine and Brian's employers giving us the day off!). We spent lots of quality time with the Olivers as usual, including a visit to the zoo, and paid a visit to Brian's grandparents who recently moved back to the area (not pictured aside from the pics of them passed out on the drive home, sadly).

If you stare at the picture long enough, you can almost hear the chorus of forced "cheeeeeeese" sounds.

Snoozing in her shades

On Presidents' Day, it rained all. day. long., so it was the perfect day to not have to go to work or school. Brian took Colby and Davis to see the new Lego Batman movie (Wade had to work, boo), while the girls stayed home for a play date. And yes, of course Colby had to wear his costume to the theater!

Brothers from genetically-the-same mother

I know the introduction to this post probably caused you to expect pictures of the twins in patriotic attire and eating pancakes in the shape of the White House, so my apologies for disappointing and not taking Presidents' Day more seriously. I'll do my best to make up for it in a couple of weeks when St. Patrick's Day rolls around ;)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Day in the Life


It's been a while since I did a "day in the life" post, so I decided to remedy that. I opted to document a weekend day rather than a weekday since finding creative ways to document spending 10 waking hours at work gets old pretty quickly.

So below is a recap of what Saturday, February 11th, 2017 looked like for the Joiner family. We didn't have many plans for the day, but as you'll see, it ended up being a pretty full day. This happens often based on my general inability to relax and my incessant need to "make the most" of our weekends since we get so little time together during the week. Anyway, enjoy:

6:15 am - I start to stir and look at the clock, wishing I had made it closer to 7, but still thankful to get 8+ hours the night before with only one interruption when Colby fell out of the bed. I peruse Instagram and TimeHop and text Allison to see if she wants to meet up to walk; she does, so I scurry out of bed to get in a short run before meeting up with her.
6:30 am - I head out for a run while jamming to the "Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout" station on Pandora (am I the only person that still uses Pandora?). I make it 1.5 miles before meeting up with Allison (average pace of 9:07/mile for those that are curious about that sort of thing). We walk and talk for another 30 minutes before parting ways. On my way back home, I notice the vandalism commemorative initials Brian wrote in the fresh concrete down the block with the twins earlier in the week.

7:15 am - I arrive home to a mostly quiet house but I can tell the twins are starting to wake up, which Brian confirms from bed via the monitor. I go upstairs to get them up while Brian starts making breakfast. It's a sheet-changing day so I take the 8,000 stuffed animals and blankets off their beds, put on the new sheets, and get laundry started while they settle in with whatever cartoon is on PBS. We all sit down and eat breakfast together - waffles (love our new waffle maker we got for Christmas!), fruit, and scrambled eggs. 

8 am - Breakfast is finished, so Brian joins the twins in the playroom while I do a little vacuuming. Clara comes back to the TV room and realizes I turned off "Nature Cat" (since NO ONE was watching it) and has a brief meltdown. Colby and Daddy create a blanket tent while I do a small sewing repair job on the actual tent. Colby draws what is quite obviously a picture of me (bottom right) on the chalkboard.

9 am - We made an impromptu decision to go to the farmers market (because after only 1.5 hours hanging around the house, I was itching to get out... I have a problem). We quickly got dressed and made the 10-minute drive, during which Colby demanded we listen to "Gangnam Style," his current favorite jam. We spent about 45 minutes at the market and ended up purchasing ginormous cake pops for the twins (yes, at 9:30 am) and some festive Valentine's Day kettle corn. Colby had to make a trip to the port-a-potty at the end which somehow made Clara jealous. Trust me when I say a twin's need to keep things even knows no bounds. 

10 am - We head to Lowe's to pick up a ceiling fan for one of our guest rooms. Colby and Clara make the most of the trip by running down the aisles and screaming, despite our requests to the contrary.

10:15 am - There's a Toys R Us a few stores down from Lowe's and Brian says, "Hey, do you want to see what it looks like when two almost-4-year-olds have a seizure out of excitement?" We realize the twins have never actually been inside a Toys R Us and decide to let them take a look and each pick out one item. Clara picks a ($5!) Sheriff Callie costume and Colby picks out a Joker action figure. They request a ride on the mechanical horse on the way out and we oblige since I happen to have $.50 on me. They loved it, which tells me next time we should skip the toy perusing/purchasing and just let them ride the horse.

11 am - Brian gets to work installing the ceiling fan and the twins watch a couple of shows while I fold laundry and get their lunch ready. It's a nice day outside so Sheriff Callie and Hulk/Superman dine al fresco. They get distracted by every leaf that falls, bug that flies by, movement the dogs make, etc. Once they're finished, I make my own lunch and am interrupted 700 times to mediate twin fights, assist with potty needs, give them bites of my food, deny requests to push them in the swings, etc. 

12:15 pm - Colby has convinced us to let him wear his Batman costume and Clara has decided to take her costume off. Clara finally gets to swing and looks like she's about to fall asleep but would never admit as much. We bust out their power wheels and take a few trips around the backyard and then eventually to the end of the block and back. We come back inside for Brian to finish up the ceiling fan installation and spend a few minutes taunting Noah and Buster with the light on the laser leveler.

1:30 pm - It's destroy their room rest time for the twins! They do no resting, as usual. I peruse facebook, shower, and get dressed while jamming out to the Backstreet Boys station on Pandora, which is amazing.  

3:15 pm - We release the prisoners from rest time and, because they had an action-packed morning and did no resting, they are both emotionally fragile. Clara melts down about having to clean up the mess she made and Colby loses his marbles when we tell them they can't watch a movie. Somehow we talk them off the ledge and kill time playing and making Valentines while waiting for Granddaddy to come over and babysit (poor Mimi was under the weather!). 

4:15 pm - Granddaddy arrives with Valentine's Day treats and the twins are so excited that they hardly even notice when we leave. 

4:30 pm - We're free!!!!!!

5 pm - We make a stop at Boot Barn to use up a gift card I gave Brian for Christmas and pick out some new boots for him. Picking out shoes for guys is so much easier than picking them out for girls, for the record. Isn't he handsome, by the way? :) 

6 pm - We make it to our date night destination: iPic theater to see "La La Land." Brian's sister gave us a gift card there for Christmas and this place was amazing! We had our own little private nook with reclining seats and even pillows and blankets. Our tickets came with complimentary bags of popcorn and we ordered dinner as well (margherita pizza for me and beef sliders for Brian; chocolate cake push-up pops for dessert). I had low expectations for the movie but actually really enjoyed it as well... but really, how could you not enjoy a movie with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling?

We also randomly ran into Brian's childhood best friend and his girlfriend, also on a date to see the same movie, so that was a fun treat. All in all, it was a great night out!

9:15 pm - We made it home to relieve Brian's dad, who bravely and successfully held down the fort with the twins solo for almost 5 hours! We picked up around the house and then went upstairs to tuck in the little bits, who understandably looked like they crashed hard after a long day.

9:45 - I took a bath, collaged the day's pictures for this post, caught up on facebook, and we hit the hay at 10:30 pm.

And with that, a semi-typical Saturday was complete!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Five on Wednesday

1. These two LIVE for birthday parties. We seem to have a lot of friends that also have Spring (yes, I realize it's technically still Winter, buuuuut the high today is supposed to be 86 degrees, so I'm going to call it Spring) birthdays, which means we've been spending much of our weekend time lately attending celebrations. And they aren't sad about it.

Getting Colby to look at the camera is basically a lost cause, but hey, at least Clara's smiling!

We still haven't seen "Moana" yet, but you better believe Clara was excited to see a real princess in person!

2. Allison, Brittany, and I escaped to Austin for a quick girls' getaway this past weekend to meet up with our friend, Maryanne. We were only gone for 24 hours, but in that time, we managed to squeeze in a Mexican food outing, more than one trip to Target, more than one trip to Starbucks, a visit with a sweet friend's FOURTH baby, and lunch at Blue Baker. It briefly felt like we were back in college, minus the FaceTiming our husbands/kids part ;)

We've known Maryanne for 20 years and Brittany for 16! 

3. We went to a Super Bowl party with our small group from church and this was our contribution:

(a) Yes, I should be a food photographer.
(b) They're M&M Peanut Butter Bars and they tasted amazing.
(c) There were only 5 ingredients involved, so you need to go make yourself a batch now.

4. Colby has been battling ear infections for the past couple of weeks. In case you've paid close attention to the blog, you might recall that he got his second set of ear tubes a mere 2.5 months ago, so this has been a really special development.

PSA for the day: kids can still get ear infections while they have ear tubes.
Second PSA for the day: the world's tiniest bottle of ear drops used to treat them costs $38. Lame.

This is actually a picture of him enjoying a bowl of noodles and vegetables at the daycare's Chinese New Year celebration, but because he came down with the ear infection that same night, we can pretend this picture is relevant.

5. And in the interest of keeping twin coverage even, here is a recent picture of Clara just being Clara:

It's just too bad she has no personality.