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Monday, October 30, 2017

Halloween pre-partying

Halloween may still be a day away, but we've already done plenty of celebrating. We kicked things off on Thursday when Clara's dance studio had costume night at dance class- it was pretty precious! Also precious (although not pictured) was Colby, who insisted on also wearing his costume while he watched.

My mom came into town (along with a glorious cold front) on Friday, just in time for us to go to our first Fall festival at a local church. Brian actually didn't join us because he was cheering on the Astros at game 3 of the World Series.

[Crazy side note: he had really been wanting to go and was legitimately considering spending an inordinate amount of money on a standing room only ticket to one of the games. Well on Friday morning, he called into a sports radio show that he listens to and won a pair of tickets for Saturday's game! Not an hour later, his sister found out she won a pair of tickets from a separate contest for Friday night's game, and she graciously invited him to join... so yes, he got to see TWO of the World Series games for free!!]

 Top: Brian and Shannon at Friday's game
Bottom: Brian and his dad at Saturday's game

Anyway, back to the Fall festival. It was chilly, but there were games to play, bounces houses to jump in, and most importantly, there was a massive supply of candy being handed out, so the twins were as happy as can be!

It was FRIGID on Saturday morning (by south Texas standards, anyway- temperatures were in the low 40s), but the twins had a soccer game so we all bundled up and headed to the fields. Colby was not having the cold weather and the team didn't have its best game, but I, for one, thought it was nice not to melt during the game for a change.

It's hard to tell, but I tied Clara's braids with candy corn ribbons because I am awesome like that.

Love these 3 buddies- between daycare, soccer, and church, they literally see each other 7 days a week!

My dad made it into town that morning in time to see the twins' game and Davis's baseball game- here are all the cousins bundled up with Franny and Pop Pop!

Clara and I headed to Avery's birthday party on Saturday afternoon (which happened to be at Clara's dance studio)- it was a mermaid theme so Clara was excited for yet another opportunity to sport a costume during the weekend!

Saturday evening was... special. It was night 2 of solo parenting at bedtime, aka: the most challenging part of the day. The twins were in unpleasant moods and therefore so was I. The evening ended with all 3 of us in tears at one point or another, so I was certainly happy when they were asleep and I was able to call it a day myself. 

I had high hopes that Sunday would go better since Brian would be with me to help all day, and although there were plenty of enjoyable moments, it proved another challenging parenting day that once again had me in tears. If anyone has pointers on parenting defiant 4-year-olds (specifically of the male variety), please send them my way :/.

After my parents headed out of town and we all had a little bit of down time, we headed to another Fall festival at another church in the afternoon. The weather was perfect and we actually all had a good time! 

As Clara would say, we found a real "uni-torn!"

We finished the evening with pumpkin carving, and by we, I mean that Brian spent 1.5 hours tracing, cutting, gutting, etc. while I once again wrangled the children. This was not a good idea in hindsight, BUT he did do a great job on the pumpkins: Snow White & Optimus Prime, in keeping with the twins' costume choices for the year!

I'm hopeful that tomorrow holds more of the high points and less of the low points, but also trying to keep realistic expectations given that excessive sugar and overtired children will be involved. Hope you all have a happy Halloween!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Photo an hour - Saturday, 10/21/17

6-something AM: out for a run in the dark before the rest of the house is awake

7-something AM: Colby eating his favorite breakfast, a PB&J waffle; Clara had a sleepover at Avery's house so he was solo for the morning

8-something AM: another morning at the soccer fields; one of the coaches was out of town, so Brian (in the background) agreed to help - this pic is right before Clara scored a goal!

9-something AM: post-game huddle for the Golden Ninjas

10-something AM: Clara and I went on a mother/daughter outing to see a matinee showing of the "My Little Pony" movie (which was really, really dumb, but she liked it, so there's that)

11-something AM: Yep, the pony gang was all there.

12-something PM: time for lunch!

1-something PM: crafting

2-something PM: reading through the latest library selections

3-something PM: finally showered and gave myself a manicure because I'm fancy like that

4-something PM: Hallelujah, the babysitters have arrived!

5-something PM: en route to Galveston for a wedding

6-something PM: how beautiful is this bride and her sweet daughter (who is one of the twins' BFFs at daycare)?

7-something PM: pretty sure this was mid-way through Brian's second trip to the buffet... to say he enjoyed the menu (Cajun-inspired) would be an understatement

8-something PM: beignets for the dessert - best idea ever!

9-something PM: sweet Berkeley was finally starting to run out of steam when we left

10-something PM: listening to the Astros game- this was the exact moment they won!

11-something PM: tucking in the littles before turning in for the night ourselves

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fall-y things

Last Friday, I took a vacation day from work and took the twins to Blessington Farms with Allison, Avery, and another one of our friends along with her son. We had never been before because even though I had heard great things about it, I have never had an interest in battling weekend crowds to check it out, so going on a Friday seemed more promising.

We did luck out in that it wasn't very crowded, but unfortunately, the weather was pretty gross. It was foggy and humid for the first half of our visit, and then sunny and uncomfortably hot for the second half. The kids did not seem to mind in the least, however, and had a great time! (... and when I wasn't being a jerk about making them take pictures or complaining about the weather, I had a pretty good time, too!)

Not pictured: swarms of mosquitoes eating my children's flesh while I barked at them to stop scratching their legs and begged them to please, for the love, just SMILE AT THE CAMERA

3 little pumpkins!

There was a lot of sliding...

Some animal encounters...

Several rounds of ziplining...

A couple of rides on the train...

(Not my best pic but how cute is he?)


And the twins' favorite: running around in these giant hamster wheels...

Hopefully we can go back next year when the weather is a little more pleasant, but then again, we do live in Texas, so I probably shouldn't get my hopes up.

Saturday morning held another soccer game where Colby won the sportsmanship award and Clara scored 3 goals, so Brian took them out for a celebratory lunch at (wait for it) McDonald's to get their first ever happy meals! 

I spy post-soccer game Gatorade mustaches!

We spent the afternoon/evening playing with the two other families that go to both our church and daycare. We did seasonally appropriate activities like painting pumpkins and dancing to Halloween music, but because it's October in Texas, it was also more than warm enough for the kids to go swimming, much to their delight!

The pumpkin in the middle is one I painted using some nail polish technique my friend found on Pinterest- turned out pretty cool!

Brian and I unfortunately had a funeral to attend on Sunday afternoon, but the Olivers graciously kept the twins while we were away. They played at the park, watched a "movie about chipmunks and humans" (per Colby), and decorated masks which have since gotten a lot of wear around our house!

As the cool front was rolling in that evening (hallelujah), Colby and Clara decided to throw me a bone and willingly volunteered for yet another photo shoot with the pumpkins. I'd say this picture captures their personalities a little better than the posed ones:

So yeah, it's safe to say we're enjoying Fall around these parts. If you need to find me between now and Halloween, just look for a trail of Reese's pumpkin wrappers and I'll be close by.