The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

MEA

It’s MEA weekend! Which I always forget is meaningless to people who don’t live in Minnesota. Basically, the kids have a three day week in the middle of October every year so the teachers can (although I don’t think many do anymore) go to an educational conference. I had thought about trying to take a trip to a national park since it’s the perfect time for a little getaway, but ended up deciding not to. Instead, the girls went down to my parents house for a Minecraft camp on Thursday. They had so much fun! They were pretty excited to learn some new Minecraft things.

Last Friday. Just Caden seems to be the norm for Fridays.

Tuesday. We’ve had amazing weather this week, but it’s still cool in the mornings. So nice to get to wear capris one last time!

Wednesday. Delaney’s hair is down! She wears a ponytail every day, but forgot to put one in. I forgot how nice her hair looks down.

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Mighty

Every week when I’m thinking about my posts for the week I think about doing an Ode to Midas. I usually don’t because I try to balance out the posts and lately there has been foster stuff, but he’s such an awesome dog he gets a post this week!

Midas is a mama’s boy. I’m his favorite person. If I’m not around he’s usually looking for me, and if he sees me from afar he will haul ass to get to me. It’s the cutest. He’s a professional snuggler, and loves nothing more than to snuggle into my lap when we watch tv.

We have zero photographic mojo though. I took 20 pictures of him and in every one his head is down. Luckily, Caden captured him perfectly.

I worry about Midas a lot. He’s the oldest of the three dogs, and the one with the most medical issues. His knees slip in and out, so when I pick him up I can often hear joints clicking. I worry almost nonstop about his eye. Is it red? Is it bulgey? Is he in pain? He masks pain really well (most dogs too, but I think puppy mill dogs do better than most since it’s such a constant in their lives) but has a few tells that I try to look out for.

While he has the most medical issues, he also is the dog who loves the vet the most. Every time he goes, they make him feel better. When he was diagnosed with glaucoma, he fell asleep in my arms once the pressure decreased. He’d probably had a headache for weeks at that point! Same with when he had the corneal ulcer, the vet gave him pain meds and poof! His crushing pain was gone. This summer he had a cyst thing on the back of his neck. By the time I took him in it was swollen and super painful. The vet scooped it out and instant pain relief! It’s no wonder he charms every vet and vet tech he comes across.

Listen, I get that big dog people don’t always understand small dogs. But I do get really angry when people act like he isn’t a dog. Let’s be honest, he’s the BEST dog. 13/10 would pick him up and snuggle every time. **

**Who gets that joke? They’re good dogs, Brent!

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Two Weeks In

It’s been two weeks since I’ve started my Rodan + Fields journey so I thought I would update with my thoughts and impressions. Full disclosure, this will not be a regular thing.

I’ve been at my day job for over 17 years now. That’s a long time at one place. Starting this business was like starting a new job, without having to leave my old job. New processes to learn, new lingo to learn, and a whole new industry to learn. Without a doubt the thing that has surprised me the most is how thirsty I am to learn all this new information. Every night I’m digging into the product info to learn more so I can better advise my customers. I’m reading books on network marketing, trying to figure out how to do this in a way that feels genuine to me. I’m watching videos and reading blog posts by people who have been crazy successful. It’s been so FUN. I absolutely didn’t expect this, but I’m loving it! It’s also been fun to think about events and Facebook posts and think strategically about how I want to run this business. Like I said, I’m absolutely loving this aspect of it.

The week after I joined was Rodan + Field’s annual convention. Such perfect timing. I was able to get virtual access to the talks and watch from my computer. It was such great information! And it was so great to see just how supportive everyone is of each other. In this business, you are only successful if your team is successful. For me, that is so powerful. At my day job I build and manage teams, so to think about how I can carry that over to here has been exciting.

They also talked about how need to be genuine and authentic when you talk to people about the business or the products, and that you really need to focus on them and not yourself. This was good to hear since that is easily the thing that I am most nervous about. I’m still very much a work in progress on that front so if I pitch the business to you and you say no, please know I will not be offended. More than anything I need practice!

At first I was thinking this would be a little side income. A little extra for horseback riding, a little extra for travel. But after watching convention and realizing there are people out there making five, six, and seven figures a month doing this, I readjusted my expectations. Maybe this could be more than a little extra on the side? Long term goal, I’d love to make enough to quit my day job. How amazing would it be to be able to decide how to spend my time every day? To focus more on the dog rescue work that I love, or quality time with the kids? But let’s be realistic, first, I’m risk averse, so it would take a lot of banked money for me to quit my job. Second, most don’t make that kind of money. But! I’m definitely going all in with this to see what I can do.

Here’s my shameless plug. I really do love this company and their products. It’s a great time to become a part of our team since they are also offering some amazing incentives for new consultants. Do you know anyone that would be a good fit? For the business or the products? I’ve love to talk to them!

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Apples!

We have not been apple picking in years! Work sponsored an outing this fall so we made the trip. I of course forgot my big camera and even though I snapped a few with my phone, I didn’t get a good shot of the girls! Oh well.

Since we have priorities, we headed straight for the apple donut stand. After that was the shop so the girls could pick out some candy. Then off, to the orchards. They only had two types of apples to pick. I think all of ours are haralsons? But the signage wasn’t the best so who knows. We only did a half peck since neither of the girls are big apple eaters this year. They have requested apple sauce, so that’s what we’ll do.

After apples, we wandered back to the attractions. The face painting line was long and they didn’t want to ride the kiddie train, so we headed back to the apple sling shot. This thing was the best. If you hit a circle on one of the targets you got a caramel apple and we wanted it bad! The girls came within a foot twice, but we couldn’t hit it. We laughed a ton though. Caden was just a little too little and needed me to hold on to her so she could pull the sling shot back far enough. Definitely worth the price of admission.

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Always Hungry

The girls are always, always hungry after riding lessons. It doesn’t matter what I feed them beforehand (and I always feed them before) they still are starving after. Last night we went from riding lessons to a home visit for the rescue, so we didn’t have time to stop and get food. Oh man. Caden was in tears by the time we got home. That was a mistake.

Last Friday. Again, Delaney was running late.

Monday/Tuesday. I can’t remember which day we missed. The white balance on my camera seems to be off. Doesn’t matter what I have it set to and if the sky matches that, my pictures seem to be coming out with a heavy blue/green tint to them which is not so easy to correct.

Wednesday. LuLaRoe leggings, sweatshirts, and headbands!

Thursday. Aren’t these sweatshirts cute?

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Intentional

We are being intentional about a lot of things at our house these days. It seems that with time at a premium, unless we are all on top of it and really making an effort, things slide and then that’s no good.

We are being intentional about spending quality family time together. Less screen time, more family time. Even though I’ve paid for all of these online services, I decided I have to just let that go. We played Ticket to Ride last Saturday, and last night watched a Percy Jackson movie together. Even if we’re all just sitting on the couch watching a show together, that’s better than everyone in a separate room doing their own thing. It’s been good and the girls are really on board and making suggestions as well.

We are being intentional about bed and wake times. I don’t know what it is about fall but our sleep just goes out of whack every year. I used to put them to bed and let them read, and they would turn their lights off on their own. No more. I’m trying to be more strict about the 8:30 bedtime, and more strict about the 9:00pm lights out rule. There were nights they weren’t asleep until 10:30 and that wrecks the next day. I’m also waking them at 7:15am no matter what time they fall asleep the night before. It makes our mornings go so much smoother!

We’re being intentional with the dogs. Somehow Annie and Midas gained weight this summer and extra weight on tiny dogs is no good. We’ve been doing walks for Annie (and Lark) and really making sure no one feeds any extras to the dogs. I’m also trying to be sure to get them outside frequently so we don’t have accidents in the house. Now that we’re back down to four dogs, I want to work with them on letting us know they need to go out. Occasionally they’ll go to the back door, but I want to really lock that skill in.

I’m also trying to be more intentional about keeping the house clean and not letting messes pile up. We’re making progress, but we shall see if that one sticks.

**Hazel update. Her parents emailed that she is better than advertised and they are so in love. Miss that little nugget, but Annie has stepped up in her absence and has been sleeping with the girls and snuggling with them on the couch.

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Hazel Bazel

When we first got Hazel I was not sure about that name for a dog, but it turns out, there are a million nicknames for Hazel and I think we used most of them!

Whenever I get a new foster my hope is that they will attach to the girls and sleep with them. It usually works for a few days, but then they figure out that I’m the one that feeds them and they like me best. But Hazel loved the girls best, right up until the end. She slept with them, she hung out with them, and she snuggled with them. It was the sweetest.

I was worried about her adoption Sunday evening, but the girls handled it well. (I was the one who had to retreat to the office to give her kisses and cry in private.) Hazel got super excited when her new parents came in the door. She ran over to them, jumped to be picked up, and then settled happily in their arms. She looked like she was home, which definitely made me happy. Have an amazing life Hazel!

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Corn Maze 2017

It’s fall, so it was time for our annual trip to the corn maze! We were originally supposed to go last Sunday, but it was cold and rainy so we decided to push it out a week and we got perfect weather. It was incredibly sunny and 70 degrees out, which was possibly a little too perfect since the place was packed. There were a few things we wanted to do but couldn’t because the lines were too long.

There are new animals in the petting zoo every year and my favorite this year was this fluffy goose. He had the best feathers!

It was really sunny and we weren’t prepared for it. I hadn’t brought the girls sun glasses and within a few hours Caden had a headache. Poor thing! Grampy shared his baseball hat. This picture was just after we navigated the corn maze. My parents came with us this year and my mom was not prepared for the size and complexity of the corn maze! It’s no joke. The girls did awesome navigating the first half, but once you have to turn the map around, it gets a lot more confusing. Even with all of the adults helping to navigate we missed a letter or two. We made it out though!

Just in time for some mini donuts. We normally go a little later in the day and I’m able to get some cool shots as the sun is setting, but we were in full sun yesterday so it was nothing but glare and shadows.

When I take a picture I never take just one, I snap a bunch off. I totally didn’t notice Caden eating a donut until I pulled this off the camera. Delaney and I were laughing because you could see her hand come up to put it in her mouth as I clicked through the pictures. (Two thumbs up for brightly colored dresses. At least the girls were easy to spot.)

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Friday

It’s been a week people! I’m very happy to switch to weekend mode.

Last Friday. Delaney is frequently late? And I realized that the reason my truck is in all of the Friday pictures is because I have to pull out of the garage in order to get the garbage bins to the curb.

Monday. Delaney is wearing the black and white leggings again, this time paired with a black and white striped shirt. Nicely done Lane!

Tuesday. Picture day. Caden left the headband in but took her pony tail out? Let’s hope she didn’t smile like that for the photographer. Delaney has already told me she wants retakes.

Wednesday. I cannot get the color right in this, but pay no attention to that! Last weekend we stopped at the saddle store and bought Delaney winter breeches. Caden found this coat which will be perfect to ride in this winter! Nice and thin, but still warm. And, turns out the coat we thought would still fit her this fall is too small so good thing we bought this.

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Less Screens

Last Saturday a coworker had a bunch of us out to his house for some barbecue. He is a pro at smoking meats so I was really looking forward to this and the food did not disappoint! He did a beef brisket and two chickens. I’m not a huge smoked chicken girl, but I have never had chicken that juicy and moist ever. It was life changing. He may have converted me to brining the night before.

As we were hanging out we were talking Minecraft and Roblox and all the various things kids play on computers, ipads, and xbox these days. We all groaned about the insane youtube videos they love to watch and how none of us get the appeal of Minecraft. I can’t believe my kids are still loving and playing that game two plus years later!

We also got onto the topic of turning the games off, and how that can result in not so happy, whiny kids. We are very definitely in that space right now.

I continue to kick myself for not putting in any sort of play structure at this house. Now that we’re home more, the girls want to play xbox, go on their ipad, play on the computer, or watch tv at every turn. There isn’t a ton for them to do outside, and while there are plenty of toys, games, and crafts to do inside, they forget about all of that. I feel like we get better the more we are home, and we find board games and puzzles and all of that, but right now it’s a constant request for some sort of screen time and I’m over it. I’m also over their attitudes about everything as well. If I say no, I’m the meanest mom ever.

Lately our evenings have been crazy. We all get home at the same time and it’s a mad rush to get the dogs let out and get dinner started. They’ve been parking their butts on the couch and watching tv which I get, a little downtime can be necessary. But their attitudes were awful and I was over it. Starting last night, I’ve banned the tv until 7pm and you know what? Wednesday evening was glorious.

I feel like we are wading into dangerous territory. I’ve paid for three subscriptions – Marvel comics on their iPad, Tynker coding on the computer, and xbox live. If I’m going to pay for these things, I want them to use them. On the flip side, I want less screen time! We need to figure out how to have both. Tokens have worked well for us, but I can tell those rules aren’t working as well since I’ve had to go back on decisions multiple times lately. Per the usual, as soon as you get into a good routine, everything changes!

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