The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

It gets SO much better

I remember being pregnant and chatting with other moms at a party. I made a comment about wanting to skip the baby/toddler stage and just skipping ahead to age five. I mean, what did you really do with babies anyway? All they do is cry, so boring. And then I had the girls and you realize babies are super fun! Newborn twins were certainly a lot of work, but I actually have fond memories of that era. Toddlers though, whoa. Cute and learning new things every day! They say the funniest things!

At every age you think – this is the BEST age yet! And somehow, the next year it gets even better.

I remember around age five or six thinking that the older ages must be kind of boring? What’s fun about 9 and 10? And yet you guys, I could not love my children more right now. It is all just so fun. They get my humor! They’re sarcastic right back! We can joke around and they don’t immediately cry because they think I’m laughing at them! We have actual conversations! We have fun together. The board games they want to play are actually fun! They’re independent enough to be able to cook a meal for themselves. They can decide if they want to wear their snow boots or leave them home. I’m not making decisions x 3 24/7 anymore.

I have a feeling this age, before we hit puberty and the tweens, is a little like when a baby is 6-9 months old and hasn’t started crawling yet. Trouble is just around the corner, but it’s not here yet.

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Clean House

I’ve struggled with keeping the house picked up. I know a lot of people embrace the messy house thing when they have kids, but a messy house just makes me anxious. In our old house, we had a house cleaner who came every week. He spent two hours cleaning the floors, kitchen, and bathroom, and picked up and organized everything for us. It was amazing. When we moved to the new house it was an expense I had to drop.

The girls are tiny tornadoes. They create messes and then walk away from them without a second thought. It’s been a struggle to keep things picked up and get everything cleaned every weekend with everything else going on. But lately, I’ve been making a really conscious effort to keep things clean.

I feel like keeping your house clean is kind of like losing weight, there’s no secret as to how you do it, it’s the consistency of doing it that everyone falls down on. I know I should just pick it up and put it away RIGHT NOW. Don’t walk past it, don’t think you’ll do that later, don’t think you don’t have the energy for it, just do it. In theory, yes, in practice, not always.

Dishes are also my kryptonite. I always think I don’t have time to do them, even though in reality they don’t take that long. I’ve been making an effort to do the breakfast dishes before we leave so that I don’t come home to that mess. Some days it happens, some days it doesn’t.

You know what has been the best thing in helping me keep the house clean? Entertaining! I’ve had people over twice lately and obviously cleaned the house beforehand, and then after the house just seems to stay cleaner since it’s already clean. It’s magical, and is a good reason to keep having people over.

Who else has cleaning hacks? My coworker always has a sink full of soapy water as she cooks so that she does dishes and cleans up right away. If I’m cooking a bigger meal I’m awesome at clean as you go, but if it’s something simple I suck at it, so I’ve been trying to use that trick when I remember.

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Long Week

It’s been a long week, and this is the only picture I took. Everyone has been off, and while it’s easy to blame daylight savings time, I’m not sure that that’s it. I do think the colder weather is affecting everyone. We’re all tired, and no one feels awesome. The mornings have been tough, just getting everyone motivated and moving. I thought our chill weekend would help, but we’re all still in our funk. So this weekend is much more social and perhaps that will do it!

Unfortunately, I only have this one picture, but at least it’s a good one! I was trying to get Caden to do all of our old posing tricks – ninja kick, fashion pose – but now that they’re older, they get a little embarassed to do them, but I did catch her mid laugh.

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Tiny Bits

* Parent/teacher conferences were last week and they were really enlightening. I’m always happy when the teacher brings up the social side of things, since that is an important side of school for us. Both are doing well, and it’s always so interesting hearing their teachers describe them. Delaney shares a lot with her class. Her teacher knew all about our dogs and the horses. Caden doesn’t share much at all which I thought was odd, but continues to be the kid who is a worker bee.

* As each year goes on there is more and more that I just don’t share on the blog. It’s hard because there are stories I want to tell, or things I need to work through, but I just can’t do it here. Both are very aware of their privacy. I discussed something with Caden’s teacher and she was very unhappy I did so. It’s always a fine line.

* On a lighter note, we had baked potatoes last night for dinner for the first time, and they were a hit! And so easy! The girls had crumbled bacon and cheese, I had marinara sauce with pepperoni. What other toppings should we try?

* Midge is kind of off crate restriction? She is to get more freedom and exercise, but in a controlled manner. Unfortunately for her, she keeps trying to get into a fight with Annabelle, so she is forced into her crate unless someone can supervise. Little Miss needs a forever home! (Which of my California friends would like to adopt her? She is not made for Minnesota winters.)

* We are going to see Thor 3 this weekend and I’m so excited!!

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Too Much

With riding and Halloween and me enthusiastically signing us up for every Halloween party out there, it was something of a perfect storm and we had something every day for like seven days straight? And I realize that for a lot of people, that’s their normal life, but we don’t do well with that.

I’m an introvert, which often surprises people since I’m chatty, but I always say I’m a social introvert. In case it needs to be said, not all introverts are built the same. I love and crave being social, but it can be exhausting. I’ve also come to realize that when I don’t know most of the people or it’s crowded and noisy, I’m going to need extra time to recharge. My kids are the same way. They regularly talk about needing down time and wanting to protect nights and weekends and not sign up for too many activities.

So all of that is a long winded way of saying that by the time we made it to this weekend, I knew we needed a whole lot of nothing. The girls were off school Friday so they effectively got a three day weekend. We hit Target and the library, but otherwise just chilled. I laughed when I tucked Delaney into bed last night because she skipped reading since she had read so much during the day.

Since we aren’t used to weekends like this, we need a list of activities the girls can do at home. When they aren’t presented with an agenda, their default is to ask for screen time or to watch tv. When I said those options were out it was “Well then what am I supposed to do?” We played a board game and both girls read a ton, but I know last winter they were both able to keep themselves from being bored, we just need to find those activities again.

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November

Two things. Halloween was exhausting. We went to our old neighborhood and the girls saw a ton of their friends and there was a lot of walking and running and we were all super tired that night and the next. I feel like today we are finally back to normal and the girls are not melting down. It feels good. Second, the bus driver is early to on time and since we run on time to late mornings are rushed. Three times now we have pulled up to the bus stop and the bus is already there. We are trying to get out the door earlier, but then I seem to forget to take a picture.

Last Friday? I keep forgetting to take the picture indoors so you get their fall gear.

Monday. It’s cold. Caden is not thrilled with it.

Tuesday. I try to select my white balance, but I forget to change it too often (like in this picture) and recovering that color adjustment can be difficult, so after this I decided to just go auto. But hey! There’s her blue hair.

Wednesday. Only Caden because Delaney was running late. Once Midge’s crate is gone from next to the windows I think we’ll be able to find a better picture spot. Too much window glare here.

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Halloween 2017

Yesterday afternoon I was in a bit of Halloween panic since it was going to be cold out. I was worried we’d freeze to death and that I’d want to head in way before the girls would want to, but it all worked out! We trick or treated with our old neighbors which was so fabulous and honestly, trick or treating is perfect for seeing everyone. We made it back in time to trick or treat our new neighborhood with our neighbors. One of the houses carved a ton of really cool pumpkins. I was so impressed! The carvings were really intricate and so well done. But by that time I was cold and so were the girls so we headed back.

Lots of pictures because I can’t choose. Also, two guesses as to who was cooperative and who wasn’t. Also, better pictures of Caden’s hair in the light!

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Mermaid

We dyed Caden’s hair blue! And I won’t even bury the lead, it turned out perfect!

A month or so ago Caden said she wanted blue hair. A lot of kids have crazy colored hair so I did a little research and bought some Manic Panic dye, no big deal. Since it is kind of a commitment, we bought some temporary spray stuff to try the color out. That stuff was gross, but at least she realized she liked the blue.

At one point I wanted to do it after school pictures were taken, but then I realized I didn’t care. Then we decided we should do it close to Halloween since it would look cool with her Hogwarts costume. We kept intending to do it, but forgetting, so finally last night we got it done.

I watched the How To video on their site, but it was really easy. I covered the floor with old towels and her with a garbage bag. I put some vaseline by her hairline, but since we were only doing the bottom half I wasn’t too worried.

You work the dye into the hair then leave it set for 30 minutes. Rinse and voila! Blue hair! We did Bad Boy Blue which was a royal blue color in the jar, but came out more teal in her hair. Luckily, everyone loves it! It’s supposed to last 4-6 weeks. I’m guessing it will last a little longer since she doesn’t wash her hair every day, but we shall see!

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Halloween Eve

We had a lot going on this weekend! Social engagements Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It was more than we usually do, but also made it so I needed to be productive with my time which I kind of liked. Sometimes being under the gun is helpful when you need to clean!

Friday. Halloween party at the golf club. The girls invited their friend over for the party and a sleepover. This worked really well for me since having an extra person in the mix lessened the fighting. The party at the club was awesome as usual. Amazing food, fun treats, a balloon lady, a haunted house, and a DJ so we could dance. We had fun, but didn’t stay super long since they wanted to get home. They hung out in the basement watching Halloween movies on Netflix and doing crafts and I watched my tv upstairs. Win for everyone.

Saturday. Neighborhood Halloween party! They asked if there would be kids their age there and I said yes even though I knew there probably wouldn’t be, but I wanted to connect with this group of neighborhood moms so I lied a little. Before I forget, they are Hogwarts students. We went real vague this year, we didn’t even shoot for Hermione or Harry. They do have wands, but ditched those within 5 minutes. Back to the party, it was super fun! There was an arts and crafts table and fun fake fingers and teeth. Caden held the record for the bean bag toss into the monster’s mouth game, and I got to meet new people.

Sunday. I had a Cabi party with my work bestie. I do love their clothes and always wish I had an unlimited budget. I restrained myself, but it was difficult. We also got in some leaf raking, finished up the last of the house cleaning and organizing, and made risotto for dinner.

I love summer, but we’re gone a lot and it’s always hard to keep up with the house. I hate cold weather, but at least my house is clean? I don’t know. I’m not one of those moms who does well with a dirty, messy house. I’ve actually been cleaning my windows and mirrors because I love my new norwex cloth and it’s just nice to look around and not keep thinking “I need to clean that and I need to clean that” but not have time to do it.

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Switch

For all of October Delaney rode Snoflake and Caden rode Lacey. Both horses were new to each girl, and both presented challenges for them. It was a really good month of lessons on these two horses! Snoflake definitely gave Laney run for her money! For November Caden will ride Snoflake, and Delaney will get to ride Reno-Bob (who will also give her a run for her money). The girls have become so much more confident with weekly lessons. I’m so glad we were able to continue weekly and not go back to twice a month!


Monday. It’s snowing today, so these will definitely be the last of the outdoor pictures! Delaney was less than thrilled to go to school on Monday.

Tuesday. Caden is wearing one of her LLR dresses which makes me happy since I didn’t think she’d wear them once it got chillier. Delaney is wearing a plaid shirt I bought them last year and that she refused to wear so I was super happy to see her in it that morning!

Wednesday. The fall jacket we thought Caden could wear ended up being too small, so she’s been wearing her riding jacket. Isn’t she adorable? She looks so fancy in it.

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