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Friday, August 25, 2017

Five on Friday

1. Moisturizer 
I decided to join the grown-ups of the world and go to the dermatologist for the first time ever earlier this summer. I went for a general check-up and thankfully there were no concerns, but I did ask her if there was anything I could do about the dark spots that I've had on my face ever since being pregnant. She gave me a prescription cream that is slowly but surely fading the dark spots, but she also set me straight about what kind of moisturizer to use.

There were a lot of words used and all I really caught is that I should be using sunscreen with "physical" blockers (vs. "chemical" blockers) in order to effectively prevent sun damage. The ingredient she said to look for was zinc oxide, and after some googling, I settled on this (inexpensive!) option from Eucerin. I've been happy with it so far, so I figured I'd pass along my budget-friendly, dermatologist approved recommendation... you're welcome.

(For the record, my tinted BB cream also has zinc oxide and I highly recommend it as well, though it's not as budget-friendly: Tarte BB Tinted Treatment

2. Mr. Grumpy Pants
When we went to the library a couple of weeks ago, both of the twins were being major grumps, so of course when I came across this book, I knew we had to check it out. We have read it regularly since then and even though it hasn't prevented them from being grumpy, they get a big kick out of it... especially the reference to the penguin wearing "grumpy underpants" (underwear jokes get them every time!).

Upon my request, my sweet SIL gave me this t-shirt for my birthday and it is seriously the most comfy shirt I have ever worn!! And fear not, non-Texans, they have them for other states, too ;) 

I was looking for freezer meal options to make for a friend and came across this one. I decided to go ahead and double the recipe so we could have it for dinner this week and it is so tasty! As a bonus, it was simple enough that the twins were able to "help" make it. As an even bigger bonus, Clara asked for seconds when she ate it (... Colby at least tolerated it, so there's that).

5. This article that was basically written about me
Though I have always considered myself tightly wound and I admit that I obsess about things, I've never really described myself as someone that has anxiety because I always associated "anxious" with someone that was a worry wart. I don't worry about things that are likely to never happen, but more so, I get rattled any time things don't go exactly according to my plans (which is, un-shockingly, very often). 

Last Fall, I briefly visited a counselor and in talking with her, I realized that a lot of my less than desirable behavior stems from anxiety. When I came across this article last week, it really resonated with me and thought I would share it in case any of you also struggle with being "rage monsters" (and then beating yourself up about it, causing you to feel guilty, causing you to feel anxious, and then causing the cycle to repeat itself).

Even if you can't relate, it's an interesting read! And because I needed a picture to go with this item on the list, I decided to share a relevant picture: me completely losing my cool when my children wouldn't cooperate for pictures (aka: a major source of rage for me, unfortunately)!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Catching up: end of summer edition

OMG, y'all, can you believe summer break has come to an end? Ha ha ha JK, I don't get summer breaks. But the season itself is wrapping up, and any small hint of sadness I have about not being able to go to the pool, etc. is overshadowed by how anxious I am for this offensively hot and humid weather to go away. I know, I know- I have at least 2 months before that will become a reality.

Anyway. We have been up to many exciting things, I assure you:

We had an impromptu sleepover with the cousins at our house. This entailed minimal sleeping, lots of playing, and most importantly, donuts. 

Colby and Clara got back-to-school haircuts (... even though they never stopped going to school and therefore aren't really going "back"). Clara was hesitant about getting hers cut, as I think she equates long hair with princess status, but was anxious to show it off once all was said and done:

On the flip side, Colby had no qualms about the actual haircut, but as usual, acted like a tortured prison inmate when I asked him to take a picture. Also as usual, incorporating a Transformer in the process eventually helped him come around.

Daddy took the twins solo to a swimming birthday party and handled it like a pro (translation: no children drowned.) This is actually a significant victory because in case I haven't mentioned it on here already, the twins took 2 weeks of swimming lessons at the beginning of the summer and have since deemed themselves as professional swimmers that in no way need puddle jumpers or other assistance. We've been simultaneously impressed and terrified by their newfound independence in the water.

We went to the zoo with some friends this past weekend- yes, in August- AND lived to tell the tale! They were having a "snow day" and since Clara coincidentally has been praying recently for God to make it snow (how's that for faith?!), we figured it was worth braving the heat to go.

Of course, we had to visit all of the other regular exhibits, too, making sure to spend as much time in the indoor exhibits as possible!

This is Clara waving to me when she insisted she was "big and brave" and didn't need me to stand with her. She dismissed me to the bench a few seats back to watch from afar. Sniff sniff. 

I also hosted a baby "sprinkle" for my sweet friend, Kristen, that's going to have baby #3 in the next couple of weeks! While we opened presents and I helped myself to 2 servings of the cake you see below, Brian and the kids enjoyed pizza and a shared milkshake for dinner, so all of us were fat and happy by the time the evening was done.

Our church had a "Back-to-School Bash" on Sunday, complete with snow cones (... and water bounce houses, which we pretended we didn't know about and therefore didn't bring their swimsuits - mean parents).

And to officially end summer, Colby and Clara moved into the Pre-K room at daycare this week! Of course I had to document the occasion:

I just can't wrap my brain around the fact that 5 years ago yesterday we found out we were pregnant, and seemingly 10 minutes later, here we are about to start their last year before Kindergarten. Trying hard not to blink anymore! 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Stomach bugs and anniversary celebrations

Hey! Remember me? I'm sure you thought I took a 3-week blogging break because I was doing glamorous things or had some mysterious secret I was waiting to reveal. But you were wrong. Basically our past 3 weeks have been filled with the twins (mostly Clara) suffering from a stomach bug that wouldn't die. 

I decided a few weeks back to take an impromptu afternoon off to spend a little time with the twins in between Clara's speech therapy session and Colby's ENT appointment. I wanted to make the most of it, so I decided to meet up with a friend and her kids at an indoor play place. My plan was working out splendidly until Colby started saying his tummy hurt, disappeared for a few minutes, came back to me declaring proudly, "I throwed up!" and then walked me over to the scene of the crime (top of the slide), where he pointed and said, "Hey, there's my lunch!" Lovely.

Public vomiting is (or was) a top 5 parenting fear of mine, so it was neat to cross that one off the bucket list. Thankfully the staff members were nice about it and we were able to escape without causing too much of a scene. Colby spent the rest of the evening bonding with the barf bucket, and the next day or so recovering.

I'm sure you know where this is going: about 4 days passed before I got the first phone call from daycare telling me Clara was complaining about a stomachache. This went on for a few days before she threw up for the first time, and then she basically spent the next 2 weeks throwing up once every 2-3 days and complaining every afternoon about her stomach hurting. Thankfully my mother-in-law was able to help take care of her, but there were many more calls from daycare that put me into a working mom panic throughout the whole ordeal!

This is when I had to pick her up early and bring her back to my office for a couple of hours... she was pretty miserable, but I was very appreciative of my co-workers that did their best to help cheer her up and make her comfortable!

So yeah, that has been the past couple of weeks. BUT the highlight amidst the attack of the relentless stomach bug was that Brian and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last Friday! Brian's parents graciously kept the kids for a couple of nights, so we were able to go out to breakfast AND dinner to celebrate:

Early morning breakfast before work

Dinner at Fleming's, where I decided to sport my rehearsal dinner dress because I'm a total dork sentimental like that

Speaking of sentimental, my gift to Brian was this framed star map from the night of our first date! I saw an ad for these a few months back and since we looked at stars on our first date, I thought it would be a good way to commemorate "the night it all began." Cheesy, I know, but I thought it turned out cute:

Also a good option for commemorating a wedding, birth, etc.!

Brian also apparently went with the first date theme: if you read the post I linked to above, then you know that when he showed up to pick me up for our first date, he was holding a poster listing out 10 things he liked about me. So this year, he decided to make a new list:

I appreciated his thoughtfulness... and I also appreciated the gift card for a massage that came with it ;)

Meanwhile, Colby and Clara were having a great time (as always) with Mimi and Granddaddy, complete with dressing up in Daddy's and Aunt Shannon's old costumes:

Anyway, everyone seems to be on the mend now, so hopefully my next blog post will not feature the words "barf" or "vomit"... but no promises.