Background template

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Solo parenting

I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but up until this past weekend, I had only stayed overnight alone with the twins once in the 4+ years that they have been alive. Brian doesn't really travel for work and although I have had a handful of short girls' trips that have kept me away for a night or two, he had never gone away on more than a day trip (I know, I know- I'm very fortunate!). 

Luckily for him, he finally got his turn to experience freedom this past weekend when he and some of the guys from our small group at church took a trip to the coast. (Side note: I'm thankful this happened when the twins were at the more manageable age of 4 rather than, say, 18 months.) 

Brian left them these coloring books as a treat for all 3 of us - entertainment for them and silence for me!

We spent Saturday morning walking (well, I walked while Clara rode her bike and Colby-I-don't-want-to-ride-my-bike-because-I-might-fall-Joiner opted to ride in the stroller), playing, and partaking in my personal favorite activity: perusing Target. The twins had one dollar bills from Pop Pop burning holes in their pockets, so after we tackled the items on my shopping list, we hit up the One Spot, where they picked out these gems:

Do y'all remember these from our childhood? We opened them as soon as we got home and it occupied the twins for a solid 45 minutes!!

Saturday afternoon, we packed up our stuff and headed over to the Olivers' house to have a sleepover, which the twins have been begging to do since they understood that sleepovers existed. After a brisk bike ride to check the mail, we headed to the park to play. I'm not kidding when I say that we encountered the ice cream man 3 different times while we were en route, so we took the hint the third time and decided to get something for the kids. Pretty sure I haven't hit up an ice cream truck in at least 20 years (... and I must say that the ice cream man's prices have drastically increased in the meantime... $3.50 for a popsicle, really?!?!). 

We met up with some other moms/kids for dinner and this was probably the point during the weekend when Brian's absence was most noticeable- apparently I don't have enough hands or patience to sanely handle dining out with two children, ha! Once we made it home, we cleaned the kids up, made one more "grow capsule", and tucked the little minions into bed. Aaaaaaand about 1.5 hours later, they finally all fell asleep. 

Meanwhile, Allison and I had fun staying up and watching the Bobby Brown special on tv, doing laundry, and complaining about heartburn... just two wild and crazy kids, aren't we?

We all went to church together on Sunday and then parted ways to head home and wait for the dads to return home. The weather was beautiful that afternoon, so once Brian was back, we spent the rest of the day playing outside- the twins got to play with some new outside toys and I didn't have to parent alone anymore, so I think it's safe to say the weekend ended on a high note!

Since I haven't done so publicly lately, now is a good time for me to tell Brian how much we appreciate him and how thankful we are to call him ours- he is indeed a keeper!

Monday, April 17, 2017

This post brought to you by an Easter candy-induced hangover

Seriously, I'm pretty sure the blood currently flowing through my veins is made up entirely of chocolate and sugar. And of course, the same could be said for the twins, but since they are 4 and their bodies bounce back a little more quickly, I don't think they are taking it quite as hard. 

Let's recap the weekend and associated festivities, shall we?

Last Thursday, the twins had their Easter party and egg hunt at daycare. As luck would have it, I got off work right when they were getting everything started, so I was able to join for some of it. As a full-time working mom, it's rare that this happens, so I was thankful!

Forced smiles for the obligatory morning photo shoot // lined up and waiting for the egg hunt to start // egg hunting

All 4 of us had the day off for Good Friday, most of which we spent playing with our cousins (at their new house, sniff sniff) and waiting for Franny and Pop Pop to arrive. I realize it's cliche to say this, but if every weekend lasted 3 days, I would totally be ok with it.

Checking out the presents Franny bought // sporting various bunny masks // being silly at dinner (great aunt Nancie getting in on the fun in the bottom left)

After the dads and kids hit up Rudy's for breakfast tacos on Saturday morning, we all got ourselves ready for our church's Easter Eggstravaganza. We took a few pictures before heading out, and the twins were so excited about the upcoming festivities (and promises of candy) that they almost didn't mind participating in yet another photo shoot for Mom:

We made it to the event and all of us were a little overwhelmed by the (a) heat, (b) crowds, and (c) bugs. And of course, all the twins wanted to do was jump in the bounce houses... I hate bounce houses. Nonetheless, we powered through (and spent as much time in the shade as possible) and ended up having a good time. 

Hanging with our pals // egg hunting // face-painting

After a stop for air conditioning lunch, the moms headed out for pedicures while the dads entertained the kids. We eventually all reunited and finished the evening with bike riding in the cul-de-sac and dining all fresco on our driveway. It was actually a pretty perfect, low-key evening in my book!

Documentation of Franny and Pop Pop's presence

We were all up bright and early on Sunday morning to see what the Easter bunny brought and get ready for church! The twins enjoyed eating candy at 7:15 am their loot and of course, another chance to hunt for eggs!

After brunch with Franny and Pop Pop, we bid them adieu and headed over to Brian's grandparents' house to spend the afternoon with his side of the family. The twins were excited to get more Easter goodies from Mimi and Granddaddy and (surprise!) hunt for eggs again. They loved it so much, in fact, that they convinced their adoring relatives to re-hide the eggs for them no less than half a dozen times :)

Shannon took yet another family pic for us, we snacked and caught up with the family, Brian taught Colby about basketball, and the twins roped all of us into a few rounds of hide-and seek. We headed home to get ready for the week and crash from all of the weekend fun!

We were thankful to spend so much time time with the people we love most, but even more so, we're thankful for the hope that Easter brings. Hope you all had a great time celebrating as well!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Colby & Clara's 4th Birthday Party

I know you are all probably tired of reading about the twins' birthday celebrations, but I couldn't not document their actual birthday party. We had it on Friday afternoon at the new Urban Air Trampoline Park, which is conveniently right around the corner from their daycare. We kept it small with their school friends (+ 2 cousins and 1 lifelong BFF), and so for a change, they actually got to play with all of their guests! Also for a change, I basically had to do nothing to prepare for this party because they supplied the food, balloons, paper goods, etc. Hooray!

We lucked out and it was not at all crowded, which is great because I don't handle crowds well in a normal setting, let alone when I'm trying to host an event. The kids jumped and played for an hour, took a break for pizza and dessert, and then played some more. There were lots of tears when it was time to leave, so I'll take that as a sign that the party was a success!

Yep, they chose donuts as their dessert of choice at a 4 pm birthday party - I fought it at first but then realized it's cheap, it's easy, and it's their favorite, so why not??

Thankful for another fun birthday party in the books and sweet friends to help celebrate! And now to wrap up all this fun, we have their 4-year check-up tomorrow. Looking forward to finding out what their stats are, but not so much looking forward to all the shots, so wish us luck!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Celebrating #4

As we did last year, Brian and I took the day off  yesterday and kept Colby and Clara home from school so we could all celebrate together. The twins seemed to enjoy themselves and though admittedly the whole day left me fairly exhausted, I was so thankful we got to spend it with them, as I know our years of being able to do this on birthdays are limited!!

We put streamers outside their door the night before and since they have been sneaking out of their room in the morning without our knowledge more often lately, I watched the monitor like a hawk that morning so that we could catch their reaction. As usual and as evidenced below, Colby was a little more cautious about the whole thing!

We took them downstairs and let them open some of their presents (bikes from us) and exchange the gifts they (sort of) picked out for each other: a Sofia watch from Colby to Clara and a Spider-man shirt from Clara to Colby! From there, we headed off to Shipley's for sprinkled donuts, aka: their favorite food of all time.

(Colby busted his lip at school on Monday and although the swelling has gone down, you can see that the bruising has not!)

After a trip to Target to unsuccessfully attempt to pick out new shoes for Colby, we headed out for the day's primary destination: the aquarium downtown. We were a little nervous upon arrival when we realized how many schools were there on field trips, but thankfully the crowds thinned out eventually. 

We hit up the carousel, took a ride on the train (where we drove into a tunnel surrounded by a shark tank, aka: the highlight of Colby's day), and rode on the ferris wheel. 

After we finished riding the rides, we went inside to check out the actual aquarium. Clara was brave enough to pet a sting ray (Colby opted out of such foolishness), we had many "Nemo" and "Dory" sightings, and we got to enjoy the new white tiger exhibit. Once we were finished, we headed upstairs to have lunch. Our table was right next to the giant fish tank, which meant the twins spent approximately 10% of the meal actually sitting down in their chairs!

After lunch, we headed back to Target (yes, twice in one day, don't judge) to let them spend a little bit of birthday money and pick out a treat. Colby picked a Transformer, which will shock no one that has spent any time around him these days, and Clara picked a Doc McStuffins diaper/hospital bag.

We then made our way back home so all of us could rest for a bit (read: tv time for the twins) and spent the afternoon playing and trying out their new bikes. Don't worry, safety enthusiasts, they wore helmets when the bikes were actually in motion! This picture was just for purposes of appeasing Mommy (and yes, I edited Colby's fat lip out of it... keep judging):

Disclaimer: Bike riding was not as magical as I expected. They lost patience almost immediately, as did Brian and I. Eventually they both got the hang of it, but it was an emotionally exhausting half hour for all 4 of us.

Thankfully, we were all rewarded soon thereafter with Mexican food at our favorite local spot with the Olivers. Colby and Clara were serenaded and given free ice cream and Brian and I both got to have a margarita, so I think it's safe to say we all left happy. (Oh, and Allison and I inadvertently matched, which is always fun!)

Once we finally finished herding cats getting the twins in bed, they were asleep almost instantly, and we weren't too far behind them! The celebrating continues this afternoon with their birthday party with their school friends and again tomorrow night with dinner with Brian's family... we sure know how to make birthdays last around here!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Colby and Clara are 4!

Four years ago today, God answered our prayers in the biggest way possible by making us the parents of a perfect little baby boy and a perfect little baby girl. We had no idea what the coming years would have in store for us (which, if we're being honest, was probably for the best - I'm looking at you, potty training!), but we knew then and we know now that we are blessed beyond measure to call them our own.

Here's a quick birthday interview from each of those little nuggets to give you a little glimpse into their personalities at age FOUR:

Colby Wayne, Age 4

Clara Lane, Age 4

Happy 4th birthday. little ones! We love you!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Monday Photo Dump

In case you've been wondering what we've been up to lately, we've been...

meeting friends at the park...

adjusting to the time change...

going on a double mommy/daughter date to see the new "Beauty and the Beast"...

fishing at Mimi and Granddaddy's...

practicing putting safety first at all times...

overtaking Live Oak Grill with almost all of our church small group to celebrate Wade's birthday..

requesting photo opps while partaking in bedtime stalling...

hitting up the occasional birthday party...

and most importantly, counting down the days until Colby and Clara turn FOUR (in 2 short days)! Every time we tell them how many days are left until their birthday, they groan and say, "Ugh, our birthday is taking too long!", so apparently I shouldn't expect age 4 to come with an automatic (a) understanding of time or (b) patience for the twins! ;)