The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

County Fair/Paddle Board/Eclipse

Let’s start with the eclipse. Delaney woke up coughing (still) and with no desire to eat breakfast (still). Caden complained nonstop that her stomach hurt. It seemed the path of least resistance to keep both of them home, bonus that everyone was in on the eclipse viewing. Luckily, google was not needed as twitter, facebook, and Good Morning America taught us how to make an eclipse viewer with a cereal box. Thank you for your sacrifice Honey Nut Chex! Delaney built it in 5 minutes and then we waited. Unfortunately, it was cloudy here, but the sun peeked out a few times and we could see the eclipse through the clouds. Our cereal box viewer worked, but the sun wasn’t out consistently enough to see the shapes moving through (or we used it wrong, could be that too). But! The television came through! We watched each totality and each one was spectacular and joyous. We couldn’t believe how dark it got! I’m definitely glad we were all home for it, I’m so hoping they remember this.

My dad took pictures of us paddle boarding across the lake, and at the county fair. Photo credit to him. Per Curt, the girls were very interested in every animal. That doesn’t surprise me!

Last picture. I tried really hard to get a good shot of all the birds that fly in and out and feast at the cabin, but it’s hard! This is the best of the bunch (and isn’t that good).

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* I have totally, utterly, and completely screwed up the solar eclipse today. We have a lot going on this week so we couldn’t drive to totality, still, Minnesota is 83% so not bad? Except I didn’t buy glasses, and the girls will be at the YMCA where for safety reasons, they will be kept indoors. I just … %$#!!

* Delaney got strep last week (during horse camp of course) and it hit her hard. She’s finally feeling a little better, but she hasn’t had an appetite so she’s got no energy. She may stay home with me which means we will hit up google to see if we can make homemade eclipse protection. (How mad will Caden be though? This one does not have a good ending.)

* We were at the lake this weekend. Saturday was great weather. Caden and I were able to paddle board all the way across the lake with ease! Laney laid low but still made it out to the county fair. But, we came home yesterday morning and it was nonstop getting the house clean, mowing the lawn, doing laundry, and picking up the foster pup. For some reason, I handle all of this better early in the summer. I am not ready for the weather to get cooler and I am not ready to close down the lake, but I am sadly, kind of ready for us to get back into normal weekend routines. We’re trying to stockpile arts and crafts and fun things to do. I think this is why I’m such a four seasons girl.

* As I’m typing this, the dogs are piled onto some blankets on the floor snoozing. Clearly, they all enjoyed the weekend too.

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Thunder Shirt

I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure why I waited this long to buy Lark a Thunder Shirt. I think I thought we would alleviate her anxiety some other way? But we haven’t. We’ve treated her allergies and her itching, she’s been with us two years, and she’s still incredibly anxious a lot of the time. In fact I think her anxiety even ramped up a bit this summer.

The verdict? It helps. May not in every situation, but definitely in the big ones.

The Thunder Shirt wraps tightly around her belly, and is supposed to act kind of like a swaddle for a baby. The first day she wore it I didn’t notice any difference so I kept it off the next day. But, that evening there was a storm and she was shaking on the couch next to me. I put on the thunder shirt and the shaking stopped. I also put it on before her trip to the dermatology vet. She hates this place because it’s a lot of poking and prodding. She cried when we pulled into the parking lot so again, I thought it wasn’t helping. Normally I have to leave if they need to do anything to her, but she stayed quiet while the doctor was looking at the surgery site and while she pulled out the last stitch. As she was grabbing the stitch I said “Wait a second. I didn’t have to leave!” If I’m in the room she normally freaks out, but I was holding her and she was super calm. She even looked a little sleepy! The shirt definitely kept her calm.

She was still anxious while eating her dinner, and still anxious if I wasn’t near, but overall, it clearly helps in situations where anxiety is beyond just the normal every day level. With those results, I’m super thrilled!

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Horses make me feel better

I still don’t have many words for the mundane, but I did take my camera to riding lessons yesterday morning so we at least have some pictures. To note, it was cloudy and rainy, so not much natural light and a lot of glare from both sides of the arena. Also, I took a chance and brought my zoom lens, knowing it has a lower aperture and wouldn’t let in as much light as I needed so shots might be blurry. It is what it is.

Caden is on Trueman (a horse that in the past Delaney has ridden a lot) and Delaney is on Reno Bob (a horse neither of them has ridden). Both are brown unfortunately, but Caden has a pink riding helmet so that’s your tell. Most of their lessons lately have focused on form, so less cantering and big jumps, and more control your horse around the arena. It’s definitely interesting.

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It’s been a heavy weekend. Saturday I went to an adoption event with Loki and there was a tiny rat terrier there that I’ve been waiting to see. She’s gorgeous. She has an all white body with a black and brown face. And she’s only 5 lbs! It’s like a Midas-sized Lark! Except she’s about 10 times more scared than Larkie ever was. She was shivering in a corner so I scooped her up and held her for most of the event. She calmed down in my arms, but I had to hold back the tears when I wondered what someone had done to make this beautiful dog this fearful. If all works out, once Loki is adopted she’ll come to our house. I’m hoping Lark and Midas can work their magic on her. I’ve thought about scooping her out of boarding sooner, but four dogs is really my max.

Throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday I scrolled through Twitter. The events in Charlottesville made me sick to my stomach. I’m not shocked it happened since hate crimes have been on the rise since election day, but it made me realize that we really have so much work to do in this country. Even once Trump is gone, there is so much hate in this country that we have to deal with.

So yeah, heavy weekend.

And now it’s Game of Thrones time. Daenarys Targaryen always makes me feel better.

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A much looser plan

When we got back from vacation after the 4th of July I gave up cooking. I just couldn’t any more. Doing so was incredibly freeing. I was so burned out on not only cooking, but thinking about what I was going to cook that I just needed to shut that part of my brain off for a while. We went out to eat some, but with the summer heat, mostly resorted to easy, quick, free for all dinners at home. It was glorious. It’s amazing when your kids are old enough to figure out what they want to eat and cook it themselves! 

After a few weeks of this I realized I felt awful. The bowl of cereal, frozen waffle, and peanut butter toast were all easy to make, but all I was eating were carbs. My blood sugar was dropping during the day, I was eating way too much sugar, and I was cranky and tired.

We’ve hopefully found something in the middle. Delaney loves the frozen gnocchi from Trader Joe’s. It’s an easy meal that she can make herself so I buy a bunch of them. Caden loves chicken noodle soup (but only Campbells Homestyle because why not). I’ve tried to throw in a few cooked meals like spaghetti, tacos, and meat on the grill, so we’re getting some protein, and so I have leftovers to eat on other nights.

It’s working. I feel better and it’s not a full blown monthly meal plan that has me cooking for 45 minutes every night so I’m happy. It was also a good reminder that if I eat like crap, I’ll feel like crap. Since going gluten free I’ve kept my eating mostly in check, but that also means a lot of cooking and I know I get burned out. People who cook every day for large families or growing boys or any of that have my undying respect. So yes, happy medium and I’m already perusing recipes for when I get back to real cooking in September.

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We had Midas’ recheck today and I was very nervous. Immediately after our last appointment his eye looked much better, but over the weekend I caught him squinting and scratching at it, and it looked red this morning. I was prepared for the worst and was in tears a few times over the last few days. But, they checked the pressure in his bad eye and it was 12. I pumped my fists in the air for that number. (At diagnosis he was 51, last visit it was 35 I think?) His good eye was also 12. This was the best possible news! The medicine is working and we can just keep on with that.

So the drops. He gets three in the morning and three at night, spaced 15 minutes apart. When he first told me of this regime, I thought it was completely unsustainable. Turns out, it’s not that big of a deal. I use Alexa to set 15 minute timers and we’ve worked it into our day. I’m thrilled that he’s responding so well to it and that surgery is off the table for now.

I was so happy and so relieved, I took the little man to the Starbucks drive through and got him a puppuccino! I’ve seen them on Instagram, but have never gotten them for my dogs. It’s just whip cream in a little cup, but he LOVED it. He was so, so happy with his treat.


Magic Wands

Delaney read the Harry Potter books last year, but her love for them continues. Both girls will watch the movies when they’re on tv, and they love to talk about them with their friends. When I saw an event at a local bookstore to have Mr. Ollivander help you pick out your wand, I knew it was perfect for us.

We didn’t get moving as quickly as I hoped to, so we got there about an hour into the event. Instead of using your name to call out your turn, they had crafted Harry Potter-esque names. That was super fun! They thought the wait would be about 30-45 minutes, so we headed to a cafe next door to grab a pastry and something to drink. The girls were very nervous about being away, so we hustled back. The bookstore was small and there was no good place to wait which sucked. We wandered the aisles and tried looking at the books, but there were a lot of people there. Our wait ended up being about an hour, and of course we found the cool, empty spot right before we were called!

Mr. Ollivander began by asking them questions to see if they had any magical capabilities. I told Delaney to answer yes to at least one, but she refused to. Then you waved your hand over the selection of wands and picked one. Once you had your wand you got to practice. They had fun things “happen” when you did that, boxes getting knocked over or animals on the wall talking.

Caden chose a dueling wand, but ended up picking a different wand that has carvings on it. Delaney chose a really pretty wand, but wanted one that was like Harry’s wand. The wands were $40, but what are you going to do? (This place must have made a killing. I couldn’t tell if everyone bought a wand or not since I figured out how things worked way too late.) Overall, totally loved the event. They did a great job with it and I’m hoping they do more in the future!

They are both going to be Harry Potter characters for Halloween, so the wands will work well for their costumes. We did get into a discussion on the drive home as to who gets to be Hermione, and who the other sister will be. I had no idea this would get so contentious! I’m contemplating trying to dye their hair brown/red with something that rinses out quickly, but honestly, it’s dark out on Halloween and will anyone care? Probably not.

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Mr Chill

Someone we know needs to adopt this little dude. He is the best! He’s super chill, but still playful. He loves scratches right behind his ears and down his back. He seems to be potty trained and hasn’t had an accident in the house. At first I thought it was just a fluke, but we’re at five days with him and no accidents. He’s a dream foster. Barking is one of those things that pushes me right over the edge, but he isn’t a barker! He just hangs out. Who needs a buddy?!

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Internets, meet Loki! He’s our newest foster. Since we only have a few more trips up to the lake this summer, I’ve been keeping my eye open for a dog that would fit into our pack. When I saw Loki’s picture I knew he fit the bill. He’s a 5-year-old, 6 lb chihuahua who is super chill and easy going.

We picked him up Sunday night and he’s been a dream. He goes potty outside and happily hangs out in his crate during the day. He has absolutely loved exploring our little yard, and last night even ran around and kicked up his legs a bit! It was so cute to see him get comfortable. At first he was not sure about anyone touching him or picking him up, but he’s getting used to us and even came to me to scratch his belly. In the house he spends all of his time in a dog bed watching us. He hasn’t explored at all. I do wonder what goes through his little head. I’m hoping in time he will be a good playmate for Midas, once he gets comfortable. So far they’ve sniffed a bit, but otherwise ignore each other.

We can’t wait to see more of his personality come out. Until then, we’ll happily snuggle him and scratch his belly. If you’re interested in Loki, please let me know!

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