The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

New Glasses

Last year when the girls picked out their glasses they very quickly found the pair they each loved. This time around we tried on a lot of different frames.

Caden wanted color initially, and tried on a few pairs that were various shades of blue. Ultimately she ended up liking black frames, so I suggested she go with a pair that had some blue on the inside of the frames, but she said that was too distracting. These are clear on the top (you can kind of see it?) and I love them!

Delaney went for neutral frames from the beginning, but waffled between various brown frames. Some of the shapes just weren’t her, but she kept coming back to these.

I feel like these frames are a little more grown up? I miss the color a little!

And a picture of smiling Daisy just because! The dogs are loving the warm weather!

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Outside of sleep, I think I spent about 4 hours at home this weekend? It was jam packed!

Friday. I grabbed the girls from school and we ran to Target to pick up their new glasses. They went with neutral colors this time around, and I’m still getting used to them. (Pics tomorrow I promise!)

After letting the dogs out and grabbing some food we met my friend Christina at Stages Theater for the premiere of Whoever You Are. It was really well done! Lots of great choreography, the songs were fantastic, and the message is spot on.

Saturday. A month ago my neighbor and Lularoe girl reached out to me to see if I wanted to participate in a fashion show fundraising event at the church down the street. I’ve never set up my R+F stuff at a vendor event before, and this seemed like the perfect first event since I’m always looking to make local connections! It was fun seeing all of the Lularoe styles in the fashion show, and I had a blast chatting up the other vendors. Attendance wasn’t super high, but I went in hoping to make new connections and that’s what I did.

I had a few hours in between this and a fundraising gala I was volunteering at in the evening, so I raced home and ate quickly, then got glammed up. A woman on my broader Rodan + Fields team tragically lost her daughter, and this was an event to raise funds to build a playground. There were quite a few people on my team there that I had never met before, so it was great to get to know them. I’ve been part of a few fundraisers and this one was just so well run. I was beyond impressed with every detail.

Sunday. For the dog rescue, we have been sewing fleece blankets for the new fosters that come into the rescue. My mom and her friend Sue volunteered to help sew some blankets, so we drove down to Mankato to knock them out. Sewing the blankets isn’t difficult, but it all went so much faster having extra people help! My dad and the girls cut and pinned, I sewed everything together, Sue turned it right side out and ironed the sides, then my mom top stitched. We sewed 16 blankets! Plus I had sewn 4 last weekend, and my mom did 10 the week prior so we have a total of 30 blankets for the rescue.

And now I need a weekend to recover from my weekend!

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* My day started with being woken from a deep sleep because the house alarm was going off. Normally I hear Caden come out of their room, but I didn’t and she opened the back door to let the dogs out and set the alarm off. Took a bit for the adrenaline to wear off from that one. We haven’t set the alarm in off in two years, but we did it twice this week! (Once I thought I had turned it off but clearly hadn’t.)

* After that my day was awesome! Got highlights put in my hair and they turned out amazing. I’d been jealously looking at everyone else’s gorgeous spring hair and lamenting the fact that I went dark for winter, but it was finally my turn! I finished up some work stuff faster than I thought I would, which always makes me happy. It was a great day.

* The girls had state testing last week and this week. The evening of the second day of testing is a bear. They’re mentally exhausted, and it’s just not a good scene.

* This carried over into riding lessons where they were both getting frustrated getting their horses tacked up. Normally the horses brighten our days, but everyone, including the horses were in a mood today.

* During their lesson, both girls fell off their horses, one right after the other. Because everyone’s head was turned towards Delaney as she fell off Frodo, no one saw Caden until we heard her hitting the wall. Both are sore, but fine. We are heading to the chiropractor this morning for adjustments, and a concussion check for Caden. Woo. (Caden doesn’t have a concussion, but she hit her head so I want to be safe.)

* Our weekend is jam packed which should be fun after being house bound last weekend with the snowstorm!

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Daisy & Charlie

Meet Daisy & Charlie! They’re our newest fosters! They are 10-year-old shih tzus (Daisy I think is shih tzu/poodle mix?). They were surrendered by their owner, and since they’ve been together for 8 years, we’re adopting them out together.

When they first arrived at our house two weeks ago they were a little nervous, but clearly found comfort in each other. They slept curled up next to each other and would only eat when I put their food bowls next to each other. After a few days they were comfortable enough to sleep in separate beds (Caden & Charlie have bonded, Delaney & Daisy) and their personalities really started coming out.

Charlie is a total fluff ball. He’s 7 lbs of fluff! He loves to curl up in a ball right next to you, and chases squirrels with great ferociousness.

Daisy loves attention. If you’re petting her and stop, she’ll gently nudge you with her paw to remind you to get back to it! She sleeps stretched out, off to the side where she has enough room.

One thing I love about them? They don’t mind going outside in the snow! I think they kind of love the snow? When it was snowing last weekend Charlie would come in covered in snow. It was so adorable. They really want to run through the snow, but don’t seem to understand it’s deep. These two definitely have me laughing more than our other foster pups.

They’re potty trained, but don’t love crates. I tried using an x-pen in the basement, but they broke out of that in 10 minutes so now I just leave them on the main level with doors to everything closed. I’ve kept an eye on them with our security camera and they sit on top of the couch and look out the windows all day. This also means that as soon as we come home they curl up and fall asleep.

Interested in adopting them? Head on over to Warrior Dog Rescue and fill out an application!

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New Habits

We are a family of routine. If it’s not part of our routine, it often doesn’t happen. There are a few new habits I’d like to cement, so I’ve been focusing on them the past few weeks. I thought I’d share what’s working and what isn’t in case it sparks something for someone else!

1. Bedtime for the girls. While I used to be the staunchest enforcer of bedtime, I’ve let it slide for a few years now. Most of the time the girls got into bed at a decent time, but I let them decide when lights out was and they would often read until 10:00pm. Once the pediatrician said this was a big growth time for them, I realized we had to snap this back in line. Bedtime is now 8:15ish. If we start the process around 8:15 they’re in bed by 8:30. The big difference? I tell Alexa – Alexa, at 9:00pm remind me to turn the lights out and go to bed. Magic! It was the missing piece! And they do what she tells them to do! We’ve been doing this for a week now and Delaney actually told me the other day that she likes getting to sleep earlier. They willingly go to bed rather than fighting me on it, and I’m sure I’ll see a mood difference eventually. Solid win.

2. Exercise for me. I’ve chased an exercise routine for the past 10 years, and have never been able to find something I can stick with long term. Either I’m bored, I’ve done the program once and don’t want to do it again (Beachbody), or I exercise too hard too quickly and end up exhausted. Here are the little mind hacks I’m using this time. It’s only been two weeks, but I’m not mentally trying to get out of my morning workout which is more than I can say for the last year’s attempts.

* I’m exercising 3 times per week. Whatever three days I feel like. I used to try to exercise 5 or 6 days a week because that’s what the program was, and would burn out quickly. Exercising every morning just isn’t sustainable at this point.

* I exercise until 7:30am. If I would get up late or the dogs would take too long eating, I would scrap exercising because I didn’t have enough time to finish the show. Now, I have zero expectations of finishing! I go until 7:30am, skip to the cool down and that’s it. Some days I get 30 minutes in, some days 20. It is what it is.

* I’m currently doing Beachbody’s 80 day Obsession. I love it! It’s more weights than cardio, but I always feel like I got a workout in. Plus, every day is a new video for the entire 80 days! And since I’m only doing 3 workouts per week instead of 6, this program will last me forever.

* In Rachel Hollis’ book Girl Wash Your Face, she talks about not lying to yourself. If you tell yourself you’re going to work out, do it. You wouldn’t bail on your friend, don’t bail on yourself. It’s a nice little reminder.

3. Drink enough water. I’m not going to bury the lead with this one, I suck at it. I want so badly to drink enough water every day that I’m not parched constantly, but I’m awful. To help, I grabbed the app Plant Nanny. Every time you drink water it waters your plant. The app reminds you if you haven’t had any water in a while, and you can easily see how many glasses you still need to drink. Two days I’ve gotten enough water, the rest of them I’ve been anywhere from 16-48 ounces off. The days I drank enough I drank a bottle of water in the morning before I left for work. It’s key, but it’s not part of my morning routine so I forget until 10:00am when the little app is yelling at me. Still a work in progress. Who has mental hacks for me on this one?

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Planning Ahead

First, everyone is going to the doctor today. Of course they are! We are starting the day with Midas’ eye recheck before school, then the girls have their eye appointments at 5:00, and Daisy and Charlie need to go to the vet once we’re home from Target. Good thing their vet is open late!

So San Diego got really expensive. With all of the parks we visited, plus eating out two meals a day, it added up. The thing is, the girls were just as happy eating the sandwich from the deli at Sprouts, as they were going out somewhere nice. It got me thinking about how I want to do our summer road trip differently and not just eat out constantly.

I really need to go through the hotels I’ve booked to see which ones have kitchenettes, and which ones have at least a microwave and a fridge. We’ll be able to bring staples from home, so PB&J’s should be easy sandwiches to bring with us. I can’t eat rotisserie chicken every day, but it will work for a lot of meals on the go.

What else should go on our list? I’m thinking we need things that are either A) good road trip foods or B) easy hotel meals.

Well, obviously those little single serve mac and cheeses are on the list too.

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We had our ten year well check on Monday. Let’s just cut to the chase shall we?

68 lbs (34%) 55 3/4 inches (67%)

56 lbs (6%) 54 1/4 inches (46%)

Delaney gained 8 lbs and grew almost 3 inches! Caden gained 5 lbs and also grew 3 inches!

So. This is a growing season, which means we need to focus on calcium and sleep. We suck at both, but are working on it. Also for Caden, calories. Calorie dense foods, preferably dairy, since she isn’t a huge eater.

I’m not sure how much of Caden’s weight to discuss here, but it’s documented on the blog that she doesn’t love being small. Let’s be honest, there are 5 year olds that weigh more than she does. She is no longer allowed to eat veggie salads at school, since she had been closer to 58 lbs at one point this winter. The pediatrician gave us Pediasure drinks for her to try. I bought whole fat yogurts, cheese she thinks she’ll like, and she’s willing to try guacamole. We’ve been down this road many times before. There are years where we don’t fight her body type, and others where we try to add calories. I feel like this is a key growth period for her and she’s going to need all the calories she can get, so we’re trying to add some foods to the rotation.

Sleep! I’m not the best at enforcing a solid bedtime every night. There are some nights where we’re snuggled up on the couch watching a show together, and I don’t have the energy. But, that always bites me when they’re awake at 10:30pm and still coming out of their bedtime for drinks of water. This week we’re doing an 8:30 bedtime, with an Alexa reminder set at 9:00pm to turn their lights out. It’s working, since they are both fast asleep when I go to bed.

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Days 5 & 6 – San Diego

Last San Diego post! Unless I do a wrap up, which I might later this week on my thoughts. But last day by day!

Day 5 was Tuesday. We hung at home in the morning. I thought there would be a lot more downtime this trip, but there really wasn’t. We had a lot of things planned, and if I did it again, I would do less of the parks, and hit more beaches.

Our afternoon was a whale watching trip! My client friend Stacey suggested it and was going to go with us, but was hit with a nasty cold and couldn’t make it. While it was warm on shore, it was very chilly on the boat. Even though we had dressed for it, the girls didn’t love the wind. We found a spot just inside where we could warm up and get out of the wind, but get outside quickly if they saw a whale.

We saw two whales! One we saw from a distance, so only really saw when it blew water up in the air. The other was just off our boat. We saw him come up out of the water (just a bit, it wasn’t Free Willy or anything) 5 or 6 times? Delaney had eagle eyes and spotted him before I did! It was very cool. On the way back in they gave us the military history of the things we were seeing which I never knew. Loved it!

Day 6 was Wednesday. We tossed around ideas of what to do. I wanted to hang at the condo and just hit the beach and the pool, but we had talked La Jolla and the seals with Stacey and Delaney really wanted to go there. I was surprised, but since she really wanted to we made it happen.

Let’s back up a bit, because I want to make sure I document our whole day. We had breakfast at the Beach Grass Cafe which was just down from our condo. By this point we were almost out of breakfast groceries and I wanted to save the last of our bacon and eggs for Thursday morning. I wanted to wander Solana Beach a bit, so after breakfast we headed towards the ocean. We decided to do a morning beach walk since we hadn’t done one yet, and quickly realized we had walked to our condo! We took the opportunity to run in, hit the bathroom, and change into shorts and a t-shirt since it had really warmed up. We maybe took too much time doing all of that and headed out a little later than we wanted to.

We got to La Jolla and found parking quickly. I did not want to deal with trying to find street parking at noon, so we found a parking garage and went that route. Best $10 I spent that week! We grabbed a quick lunch at Puesto’s (highly, highly recommend!) and then walked towards the beach.

This was our first view and we were oohing and aahing! So gorgeous! Check out those seals!

And then we wandered down a bit and realized you could actually be in the water near them. My client friends had warned us not to get too close to them, so we kept a respectable distance (many others did not).

There were a few adults, and then a mama and baby. They were staying at the far end of this little cove right up until I started taking this video. We didn’t move, we were standing still, but they kept swimming closer to us. We were a little freaked! What we didn’t realize, was that the mama was trying to get her and her baby through to the other side. A very nice (and forceful) older woman got everyone to move and give them space so they could swim past.

Both girls absolutely loved our time here. I’m so glad we went. Traffic was a bit crazy and it meant we didn’t get a ton of beach time, but I know they’ll remember this.

Where mama and baby ended up! (Disclaimer: Delaney took this pic from a distance and zoomed in. People were literally right next to the mama taking selfies, but we stayed farther away. Once that group left, no one went near her.)

After the seals we took the scenic (and faster) ocean route home. We picked up sandwiches and a gluten free pizza for me and headed back to the condo. Got in a little time in the pool, then one last beach walk. It was the perfect last day!

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Every month the girls get new horses. As soon as we got to the barn they ran ahead to see who they were riding. Delaney was riding Frodo! So. The more advanced girls ride Frodo, I didn’t think either of my two would be riding him for another year or so? I still give him treats every week don’t get me wrong, but that’s just because he’s gorgeous. I was way nervous and immediately texted another horse mom whose daughter rides him all the time. She assured me Delaney would do fine and he was a good boy. I loved him up while Delaney brushed him, and since he gave me kisses I figured he’d take care of Laney.

They were a great team! He definitely tested her, but she kept her legs tight, sat up in the saddle, and took control. Watching them canter was a beautiful sight to behold. I’m so proud of her. Their trainer said this was a trial run, and if it didn’t go well she’d get a different horse next week. I think I’ll be giving Frodo lots of treats this month! (At the end of the video you can hear my dad say “He’s pretty” and me start to say “I looooove Frodo”.

Big smiles after the lesson!

Velvet continues to be crazy adorable. Everyone wants to pet her and ride her. She’s just so darn cute and little! There were cavaletti poles on the ground that they had to do. Most horses just walk through them, but this was the first time Velvet had seen them. She picked her feet up so high we were dying laughing. Caden had a smile on her face the whole lesson. I don’t think she even minded that Velvet doesn’t canter quite yet.

I think April is going to be a good month for us!

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Day 5 – Legoland

Legoland! I should note quickly before I forget that I used the San Diego City Pass to get a discount on my Zoo and Legoland tickets.

I had tried to do some research on the park, and the girls perused the website as well, but we didn’t have a solid plan walking into the park. We also took our time at home in the morning, getting to the park about 11:00am which didn’t start things off on the right foot. Ride wait times were already climbing! We only ended up doing a few rides though, so that didn’t affect us a ton.

Legoland is definitely behind the technological times. They have an app, and they post wait times for rides, but the times are little wooden placards, so nothing is automated. We got into line for this ride because the wait time out front said 5 minutes. Turned out the line was behind a building and was more like 30 minutes, but the girls had fun driving the little cars.

Miniland! We all loved walking through this area and seeing the buildings done in miniature in legos. It was so cool! They had built quite a few different cities, but we were all most drawn to New York since we’d just been there, so buildings were very recognizable.

The boat cruise was super fun. Our guide was hilarious and kept us entertained with all sorts of funny puns. It was a gorgeously sunny day, so perfect to be out on the water for a bit.

We wandered around the park a bit but since the girls weren’t into the rides we found the Star Wars section and left (but not before we ate two things of apple fries! Legoland had a lot of gluten free options for me!). We were only at the park for about four hours, which after Universal and the Zoo shouldn’t have surprised me. We were all kind of done with crowds and parks.

As we were driving to Legoland there was a U-pick strawberry patch. We’ve never done one, so the girls insisted we stop on the way home. I haven’t been to a u-pick place in a long time, but this place charged by the bucket, and each bucket only got in so many people. We had to buy a big bucket in order for all three of us to go in, otherwise I would have had to pay for each kid. The strawberries were delicious so it was worth it?

We got home about 4:00. I headed out to the balcony with my phone, my book and a glass of wine and stayed out there enjoying the ocean air until 5:30 at which point we headed down to the beach for another hour and a half. We ate a late dinner in the condo of leftovers and mac and cheese. It was nice just to be able to hang out, and not have to research and find a restaurant, and spend time in traffic driving to and from. I feel like we spent a lot of sunsets at restaurants, and it was nice to hit one on our own beach.

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