The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Blue!

Our cable and internet have never worked consistently since we moved into this house almost two years ago. Finally, Wednesday a guy came out and realized the issue and was willing to fix it. It took him almost five hours on Wednesday, and two more on Thursday to rewire everything outside and in and get it set up properly. Apparently quite a bit of our wiring was not “to code” for Comcast, so I will be calling them today to complain since we’ve had multiple techs out who overlooked all of that when fixing. So annoying.

Last Friday. Black and orange day! I continue to wish their school colors were something a little more in our color arena, but oh well.

Monday. I can’t remember why Hazel came to the bus stop with us on Monday. I must have had an appointment in the morning? She LOVES the bus stop. So many people to sniff!

Wednesday. No picture from Tuesday because we had a dentist appointment. No cavities! I highly recommend electric tooth brushes for kids. Anyway, I worked from home to deal with the cable guy, so both dogs got to come to the bus stop. Annie is down the other leash.

Thursday. The girls have been asking for blue hair. I bought manic panic dye, but before we committed, we bought some hairspray type color that washes out. It’s gross, but at least now we have a solid plan for the blue dye. Who wants to come over and help us do this?

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Meal Planning

When I sat down to meal plan for September I realized that one of the reasons I didn’t want to cook this summer was because I didn’t want to eat a lot of the meals we’d been having over and over. Being gluten and dairy free can be limiting. We’d gotten into a rut of protein + vegetable and I was sick of it. I’ve been trying to expand our menu options, and think beyond what we’ve been eating the last few years, but it’s difficult.

The other thing I realized this summer was that we don’t need a huge dinner. We survived just fine on cereal, yogurt, and other small, easy meals. Every January I try to buckle down and not eat out or buy anything we don’t need. Last January I followed a protein based meal plan. It was so amazing having everything planned out for you, but our grocery and food budget was more than we’d been spending other months when we were eating out a fair amount! So much food waste. And so, I’ve realized I want to rethink our meals.

One resource recommended a framework for the week. I love this idea, but we don’t always fit into it very well. While I love a good stir fry when we eat out, we don’t do well with them at home so asian night generally consists of fried rice. I’d love to do an easy tex/mex night, but what to do besides tacos?

I’m trying to hunt down more pasta recipes that we would all eat, as well as soups. I also love the idea of a grain bowl night. That would be so easy to throw leftovers together, or items that you can prep earlier in the week.

I also need to remember we are not good at eating leftovers. I made pesto last week and it’s still sitting in the fridge. Will we eat the rest? Probably not. Grilled a steak last week and the leftovers are yep, still in the fridge. It should be easy and yet, it’s not. We just don’t do well with them. I look at the tupperware in the fridge and think – there must be something else to eat right?

And so, it’s an ever evolving thing. I still love planning all of the meals for the month, but I’ve learned to just write ‘Easy’ for a few nights each week. I’ve also learned to have some frozen meals on hand for those nights when there isn’t anything else readily available.

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So Delaney

The girls had softball evaluations last night. First they pitched, then they had skills evaluations a little later. I really had no idea what to expect from this since they only do this for 10U and up.

For skills they had to bat, field ground balls, then catch fly balls. The balls were coming a lot faster than they were used to, but they both hit a few. Fielding ground balls was pretty standard and they did well there. For fly balls, they used a machine to launch them. We practiced pop flies this summer, but nothing like this.

Caden was first and she got a few in her glove, but they popped back out again, but a few went over her head as well. When it was Delaney’s turn, she caught quite a few! I was impressed! When she came off the field she told us that she watched the girl in front of her, and noticed that the ball always came to the same spot every time. (They had the girls start from different spots so they had to move up, back, and side to side, but she was right.) So she always ran to that spot, and then she was at least in the right area to catch the ball. I had to laugh, because this is so Delaney. Watch, analyze, and then learn from the person ahead of you. This kid is destined for science!

**To be fair, Caden was the first to go through the stations and didn’t have the opportunity watch anyone do it before her.

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The Weekend

I was chatting with a coworker Friday afternoon and told her I was a little nervous since we didn’t have much planned for the weekend. I’m not used to having to seek out activities, with summer there’s always something going on. But, we made it!

Friday evening we went to the Homecoming parade. Ours is … short? It wasn’t much but we ran into friends so the girls were happy. Afterwards we went to the club for dinner. I had the most divine halibut, and we were able to sit outside! Definitely a solid end to our week.

Saturday started off with some solid piano lessons. My plan is to clean during lessons, but with five dogs in the house, it’s practically full time job keeping them quiet for an hour and a half, so that’s pretty much what I did. Oh well. After, we ran over to the adoption event to grab a jacket for Midge. It’s getting cold out and with her cast, she can’t wear anything I have in her size. While there, we saw Libby. It was so sad you guys. Before we got there she was hiding in a corner and wouldn’t let anyone pick her up. When she saw us, she immediately came over and let me pick her up. The other fosters came right over and couldn’t believe it. I almost started crying. Two fosters went back and forth about who would be able to take her. I’m so glad she didn’t have to go back to boarding.

Next up, bounce house party! That was the perfect social event for us. Parents that I like, kids that the girls like, plus some sugar and a physical activity. It was really fun.

For dinner I made homemade pesto with the basil we’ve been growing and tried to get everyone to bed at a normal hour. I’m not sure what was in that pesto, but we all slept until 9:45am Sunday morning. As I grabbed my phone to turn the alarm off, I kept looking at the time. How on earth did we all sleep that late? Clearly our bodies all needed the sleep but still. We did have yet another chat about how the girls have to fall asleep before 10:00pm, but we shall see if it makes a difference.

Sunday was cleaning, cleaning, and some more cleaning. It felt good to be productive. We were home all day so we got our cleaning done, took the dogs for a walk, practiced softball, and mowed the lawn. I organized the girls’ bookcase a bit, and they reorganized their dresser. Both are major dumping grounds, but their room still needs more work. Next weekend.

Overall, a fairly boring weekend, but what are you going to do?

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Homecoming Week

It’s Homecoming Week this week so there was a fun (easy!) dress up day every day. I like these because they’re easy to pull off, yet the kids feel like they’re part of something bigger.

Last Friday! Also known as Quick! Pose for a photo before we hop in the truck!

Monday. It was crazy sock day but we forgot. Oops.

Tuesday. Wear your favorite team jersey! The girls wore their softball jerseys, but Caden reported there were mostly Vikings jerseys at school.

Wednesday. This was ‘Read about it’. I was nervous we’d have to dress like a character from a book but no! Wear a shirt with appropriate words on it. Caden went with my personal favorite ‘Nope not today’ and Delaney is wearing ‘Run the show’. Bonus appearance by Hazel who LOVES going to the bus stop.

Thursday. Crazy hair day! Crazy buns and crazy pigtail braids.

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Intentional

For whatever reason, we have a little margin in our evenings right now. We have riding lessons on Thursday evenings, but other than that, we don’t have any weeknight activities. It’s divine. We have time to read our books, take the dogs for walks, and just relax. But once in this mode, it’s easy for the evening to slip away. Suddenly it’s 8:00 and the girls want to bake cookies, or we realize we didn’t practice pitching. I love having these evenings where we can all recharge, but there are also things we want to do and they just don’t seem to happen.

Both girls want to learn how to code. There is a site called Tynker Coding for Kids that walks kids through lessons and teaches them the basics, moving into javascript and python. If they have questions, I can just ask the guys I work with! But, this is something we’d do at home, and if they both want to do it we need to divide up computer time.

I want the girls to start doing more chores in the evenings. Vacuuming, wiping down the counters, small things like that. But I also don’t want to have to remind them 15 times to do these things. I’ve thought about doing blocks of time. Chores from 4:30-4:45. Tv time from 4:45-5:15, dinner, piano, computer, reading. But eh, that will never work. I think more than anything, it will need to be rules. No tv until backpacks are hung up and your chores are done. No computer time until your piano is practiced. Luckily their homework is limited at this point, so that doesn’t need to factor in.

Sometimes I think, I’m a project manager at work, I don’t want to project manage my life at home and yet, that skill is a big part of what keeps us afloat. Internets – any thoughts on productive, non-crazy evenings where you don’t have to be a drill sergeant?

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Underdogs!

Let’s highlight the dogs that have come through our house in the last week!

But first, a Midge update. Her surgery went very well! They put a metal plate in her leg, and she has a supportive cast for four weeks. The cast is to give her bones some time to heal before she starts putting weight on her leg. It was interesting talking to the orthopedic surgeon and hearing about how the toy breed specifically has bone and circulation issues that cause these breaks to happen, and make them harder to heal. Don’t breed teeny dogs people! It’s hard on everyone.

First up – Libby!

Libby is a two year old beagle. She has the sweetest face! Libby needed a place to hang for a week so she came to our house. Libby had a lot of energy so we took her for morning and evening walks. I really loved those walks and so did Annie! It was a nice way to start our day. Libby is crate trained, but is learning how to be a dog and so would need another dog in her furever home to help show her the ropes. She loved to run around the yard and sniff everything.

Most fosters stick with a breed or two. We foster chihuahua mixes and rat/toy fox terriers. We know the breeds, our dogs get along well with them, it’s just easier all around. I grew up with a beagle, so I’ve always been drawn to the beagles that we get in. It was fun to have Libby around for a week, but she and I were not always on the same page.

We now have Hazel. Hazel is a two year old chihuahua mix. I love chi mixes! They have such great personalities and are perfect playmates for Annabelle.

This is her and Lark but you get the idea.

Hazel is an owner return (through no fault of her own) so she already knows how to be a dog! With puppy mill dogs we teach them how to be picked up, how to go through a doorway (you’d be amazed how this one can be very difficult for many dogs), how to do steps, furniture, pee right away in the morning, all those things they never learned being locked in a cage all day. But Hazel knows all of these things! And she gives kisses. She adores the girls and cries outside their room at night until I let her in so she can crawl in bed with them. She needs to lose a bit of weight, so we’re continuing our twice daily walks, they’re just a bit slower at this point.

Magnum! Another foster picked this guy up from our house, so he was only with us for a few hours but he and Annie played chase almost nonstop for those two hours. It was so sweet! I’ve seen him at a few events and I love this guy. He’s three years old, and from what I remember, was found as a stray. He clearly used to be a house dog though, because he gives kisses and he loves to be held. He’s got a great personality, total snuggler, and would be a great playmate.

If you’re interested in any of these dogs, fill out an application at Underdog’s site! Hazel isn’t up on the site yet, but she should be soon. If you’re interested in adopting a dog, let me know. I’m more than happy to keep an eye out for a specific breed, or to try to play dog matchmaker.

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Redo please

So you guys. My life is a bit of a circus these days. Some days I juggle all of the balls fairly well, but those days have not been any of the days lately.

I made sure we would have a low key weekend since the first week of school generally wreaks some havoc with the girls. Couple that with a growth spurt and well, it was a mess.

We temp fostered a beagle last week, so after piano lessons on Saturday, we took her to the adoption event to get her pictures taken, and to head to boarding until someone else fosters her. (You’ll meet her tomorrow.) While there we heard about some other chihuahuas that needed us, so I said “Who needs us the most?” and we came home with Hazel. (You’ll meet her tomorrow too.)

The evening was supposed to be pizza and a movie. Easy peasy right? At 4:00 I wasn’t sure we were going to make it to dinner. Both girls were very wobbly. I had the dogs outside because it was beautiful, but while I was soaking up the sunshine, the girls were fighting and crying. After dinner I headed inside with the dogs and left the girls to play outside. It seemed best to give them some space. The fresh air must have been good for them, since there was no more fighting. They were both exhausted so we skipped the movie, watched a vet show, and they went to bed willingly at 8:00pm.

Sunday was a shit show.

First, Midge broke her leg. Yep. She was running and chasing the other dogs around the yard. She’s the smallest of the bunch and a lot of time they ignore her, but everyone was playing and it was so adorable. I picked her up and held her for a bit, but she wanted back down. I thought I had a good grip on her, but she squirmed and jumped and she was up too high for that. It’s a bad break, she’s having surgery today, and then it’s 6-8 weeks of crate rest. The guilt is strong. I’ve cried a lot. Also? She hates her crate, so this is going to be interesting. We need to keep her calm, but she gets stressed in her crate.


Of course as I’m at the emergency vet with Midge, my parents are pulling into our driveway to help stain the rest of the fence. I say help, but my dad did everything. He brought his sprayer up and that thing is magic! (This is the one part of the day that actually went well.) We didn’t even need to brush in the stain. Plus, we didn’t waste as much stain! The fence looks gorgeous, I’m so insanely happy that project is done.

While my dad stained, my mom and I cleaned up the yard. Shrubs were pruned, a few shrubs were moved, things were raked and we plotted out what to plant in the spring in the front yard. We have some ideas for the backyard, but that is going to be a much larger project. Baby steps there.

We watched my niece play softball a bit, then headed to dinner before the girls’ softball pitching clinic. Can anyone else get their kids to agree on a restaurant? You’d think I was asking them to eat rocks or something. Anyway, at the pitching clinic my dad moved his glove right as Caden’s (perfect) pitch came at his face and boom! Split lip. Blood everywhere. The pitching clinic coach grabbed some kleenex and I’m yelling at my mom, then the coach said “I think it hit his teeth. You should check his teeth.” WHAT? My mom came in to catch for Caden and luckily, his lip seemed okay, but there was a moment there where I thought my mom was going to have to take him to the doctor and I just couldn’t even with the day.

But you know, this is my life and I wouldn’t trade any of it. Not the dogs, not the girls, not anything. There are times when I wonder how I’m going to make it to bedtime, but you just keep moving forward. I think as a parent, you think those crazy newborn/toddler years are going to be the worst, when really you have no idea what’s coming. I feel like lately we’ve been a little heavy on the crazy moments, but this too shall pass right?

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Pictures!

I’m determined to keep up with these this year. I always enjoy looking back at them, but it can be hard to remember to snap them before we head to the bus.

Wednesday. The weather here has been unseasonably cool, especially in the mornings. Caden overdressed a little in a sweatshirt dress and leggings and poor thing was dying by the end of the day!

Thursday. Delaney initially had shorts on, but again it was chilly so while she ran back in to change into leggings, I snapped a few pictures of Caden being silly.

Love her expression here.

And this is what an excited to learn new math skills Delaney looks like. She is so excited to be back at school. Next summer will definitely be planned differently, with more camps that exercise their brain too.

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Throwback Thursday – Labor Day edition

Throwing back to last weekend, does that count?

But first, a quick glasses story. Back in April the eye doctor told us to bring Caden back in before school started to have her eyes rechecked since they had changed so much in a year. We took her in the last week of August and eek! She couldn’t see very well with her glasses. They ordered new lenses for both her glasses and her sunglasses. We picked them up last night, the nice Target lady fitted them for her and then they said goodbye! And I was all “Don’t I have to pay you????” Nope! Free! Free eye exam and free lenses. Because something something within the time limit? The thing is, I have FSA dollars I’m trying to spend! (Caden said she could break her leg and I was all um, no?) When she put her glasses back on with the new lenses she said “Wow.” Poor kid. I do think she will be an eye exam every six months girl for a while.

Labor Day! We headed up to the lake Friday afternoon and totally did not beat traffic. We took some weird back roads but it didn’t help much. Oh well.

Saturday morning I was putting Midas’ eye drops in and realized his main eye med was on the last drop. Yikes! I called Target and they said they needed a written or transferred prescription in order to fill it, so we made a quick run into town and had the emergency vet see him. Luckily I get his eye med online and so had all of the info to make sure we got the right drops. Phew. I thought for sure it was going to be a huge shenanigan getting everything refilled but the vet saw us quickly and Target filled it quickly and we were back home in under an hour.

The events of the weekend are a teeny bit blurry. We headed out for a boat cruise Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, with the cooler weather the lake wasn’t very warm, but the girls jumped in and swam a little. We paddle boarded on Sunday I think? The girls learned checkers at the YMCA this summer so they played checkers and cribbage with my dad quite a bit. We fished one last time, had s’mores one last time, and made lots of hash browns and crepes for breakfast. It was a great end to our lake visits. Until next year!

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