The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

The Floor!

Is done! And the room is finished except I didn’t hang any pictures, just in case we rearrange.

Thursday. My dad came up around noon. The night before the girls and I had moved as much out of the room as we could. My dad and I moved the big stuff to one side, tore that carpet out, then moved it to the other side, and tore the rest out. Then we tackled my bedroom the same way. I was also trying to work, so in between I would run upstairs and do some testing, reply to emails, then run back when he needed me. It was chaotic.

About 3:00 we went to Menards to pick up the flooring and the paint. I knew I wanted to repaint, but I didn’t think we would have time. I’m so glad my dad pushed to paint Thursday. It’s so much easier painting when you don’t have to worry about getting anything on the floor! I know some people like to go with lighter colors in basements to lighten them up, but I’m a huge fan of darker colors. I think it warms things up and makes it cozier. I painted the basement Mega Greige by Sherwin Williams and I love it! The paint color made a HUGE difference in the way the basement feels. I knew I wanted a darker greige (I wanted something a little warmer than what I have upstairs) and had done some research on pinterest, but had never actually seen the color in person until we got it on the walls. Dodged a bullet there! We finished up about 7:00. Long day.

I give the girls a mental health day each school year where they can pick a day and stay home. Delaney decided to cash hers in on Friday. I tried to talk her out of it because why not pick a day when you can watch tv all day? But she wanted to help her Grampy. Best decision ever! She was a workhorse! She totally understood how things needed to go together and was the perfect coworker for my dad.

Delaney and my dad started putting the flooring down while I painted trim outside. Delaney came up a few times saying it wasn’t going well and I started to get nervous. Finally I went downstairs to see how bad things were.

The flooring I bought was cheap, and we weren’t sure how much that was playing into things and how much an old house with walls that aren’t straight was. I did some googling and found that people had issues installing Tarkett floors, so we were just about to take it back and get a different floor when I did some more googling so we could watch installation videos. My dad tried it one more time with a different approach and things worked better. This is the only laminate floor I’ve installed, but my dad said it was awful and much more difficult than other floors. So don’t go with Tarkett. My parents would highly recommend Pergo floors. They are very snap and go. All of that said, going with laminate flooring is by far cheaper than replacing the carpet over and over. With dogs and kids, it’s also so much easier to clean. When we pulled up the carpet, there was a ton of dust and crap underneath that they had never picked up. It can’t be good to be breathing all of either!

My mom came up Friday late morning and cleaned my house. That was fabulous. It was due for a deep cleaning and my mom was up for the task. Thanks Mom!

Delaney worked hard until about 2:00 when I took over. To install the floor you lock it in, then use a hammer and block to get things tight. I looked at my dad and said “How on earth did Delaney do this?” It was a lot of work! She was even installing pieces by herself on Saturday! Caden tried helping when she got home from school, but this type of thing is not her jam, and she retreated to her hammock swing to read. We worked until about 5:30, finishing up the living room.

Saturday Delaney and my dad laid the floor in my bedroom. It’s a much smaller room and they were almost finished by the time I had to run the girls to ballet. When we got back, it was done! The rest of the day was spent laying down the trim and the finishing pieces. That stuff took forever. Lots of cutting, cleaning, filling nail holes, and more cleaning. We worked until 5:30 and then headed out for dinner.

When we moved in we tried to be thoughtful, but the layout didn’t work. We rearranged things so that as you come down the stairs and turn the corner, all of the girls’ stuff is there. They don’t love coming down to the basement, so I wanted their toys/art/craft things close to the stairs. They’ve spent a little time organizing, and are excited about their new spot.

We centered the tv on the wall, and then moved the couch over so it was centered on the tv. One of the things I hated before was that nothing lined up! The couch wasn’t centered on the tv, and it just felt weird. So even though the couch hangs off the wall a bit, it works much better.

When you came down the stairs and rounded the corner, the first thing you used to see were the dog crates. It made the basement look so junky. Now they are tucked into the back corner, all lined up. The dogs aren’t quite used to it yet, but they’ll figure it out soon enough.

With the dogs, the basement smelled. We didn’t spend much time down there, and I was embarrassed to even have people over to show them my house because of it. We love our upstairs living room and that will still likely be the place we spend the most time, but now at least I’m not embarrassed of my house. It’s like a weight has been lifted! I’m hoping to do more entertaining this summer and show it off!

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Changing it up

The basement has never felt right to us, we spend very little time there. So this weekend we are making some changes!

Yesterday we ripped up the carpet. 

And painted. I’m a big fan of warm, cozy colors in basements. This is Mega Greige and I love it already!

Today we start laying the new laminate wood floor. I’m so excited!

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Softball season officially started last night! I’m super excited for this season.

We did not do a hitting clinic this winter, so we really hadn’t done anything all winter. Our softball association held open gyms, but we were never able to make it to one of them. On Sunday I finally pulled out their gloves to play catch with them and I was pleasantly surprised! Their throws were almost immediately solid and accurate. I’m continuously amazed at the different a year makes at this age.

Practice last night went really well. We have a great group of kids, and I’m working with some new coaches that I’m excited about. We only hit off a tee, but Caden absolutely killed it. Her swing has always been solid, so it was nice that she didn’t lose anything over the winter. Delaney did well too, although I think she’ll do better with the pitching machine.

We need a new bat, although I’m still debating which size to get. They also need bat bags and again, I’m debating on the backpack versus the other style. The last time we were at Dick’s I swear they didn’t have a great selection, but we need to head back and make some choices.

Other than that, we’re ready! The vibe already feels different this season. I can’t wait!

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Happy Easter! 

The second half of this Easter post will have to wait until Friday since I forgot my camera at my Aunt Lisa’s house. It was a super fun afternoon as usual though!

My parents came up Sunday morning and went to church with us. It was such a gorgeous morning we were able to walk to church which started the morning off perfectly. We sat in the balcony next to the organ which maybe wasn’t the best spot, but the service was very nice. Almost forgot about the Easter bunny! He hid eggs all over the house, and brought baskets full of candy. The girls were very happy.

After church we headed over to the Golf club. I remember when we were thinking about joining, a neighbor told me that they did a fabulous job with every holiday event and they really do. The food is top notch, there is a huge variety, the atmosphere is perfect, and they always go above and beyond for the kids. Next year I need to class it up a bit and wear a dress though!

My dad took the girls to get their faces painted while my mom and I enjoyed a cup of coffee and one of each flavor of macarons. I’m guessing it was the same face painter as the Santa brunch and she’s fabulous. Very creative and even better, speedy.

We headed out to the petting zoo next. They had teeny tiny goats! And a few pregnant mama goats. And clearly a giant dog, ducks, a llama, an alpaca, and a cow. All of the animals were very friendly and sweet.

Family picture! We were waiting for the egg hunt and my mom asked to take a picture of us. Thanks Mom!

So the egg hunt. They had tons of toys, eggs filled with candy, kites, balls, punching balloons, and all sorts of prizes spread out over the lawn. I told my girls they needed to run all the way to the end and skip the prizes at the front so the little kids could get those. That strategy worked well, the little kids were able to get stuff and so were the older kids. The candy they came back with was the good stuff! I was very impressed.

After, my mom and I hung out on the patio while my dad fixed a few things around the house, then the rest of the day looked like this. Lots of doggie naps, and lots of humans reading books in the sun.

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And now there’s two

Here’s one for the you can’t make this shit up column. Early Wednesday morning Caden climbed into bed with me for the last hour of sleep. When Midas woke up he crawled across her face to get to me. In doing so, he scratched her eye lid (not her eye ball). Her eye hurt so throughout the day at school she rubbed it, with her germy hands. And gave herself pink eye. Not even joking. She woke up Thursday morning with one eye matted shut and the other gunky. Luckily at this age it’s easier to deal with and not as contagious as when they’re younger, so she won’t even miss school today.

While we were at Target picking up her prescription, we also picked up her glasses and got them fitted. We picked up Delaney’s pair too, which means I have two in glasses! Delaney has been wearing them around the house and I cannot get used to seeing her in glasses. It’s so weird. Target Optical has a much smaller selection of frames than our other place, but they’re covered by our eye insurance so Target it is! Both girls got Ray Ban frames. Caden’s are a deep purple, Delaney’s are red/grey. They both suit them perfectly.

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Anyone else out there watching The Zoo? We love watching vet shows on Animal Planet and Nat Geo Wild. Anytime a new show comes on, we always dvr it to at least check it out. We’ve loved The Zoo! It has been so cool seeing all of the behind the scenes things that happen at a zoo. It’s also been interesting hearing about their conservation efforts. We will definitely be going when we’re in New York in June.

When I was younger I wanted to be a ballet dancer or a marine biologist, but I didn’t think either of those careers were feasible. I love that my girls watch all of these different shows and they can see all of these different careers that they could have. Dog trainer, vet tech, veterinarian, zoo veterinarian, zoo keeper. Did you know there is someone who designs the zoo habitats and paints the murals? What a cool job!

It may look like we’re a teeny bit animal focused right now, but we also talk a lot about NASA and scientists and astronauts and robots and the people who make all of that happen. We went to Hidden Figures. We’ve watched the Oscars and talked about how someone had to design the costumes and sets for Fantastic Beasts. We watch Face Off and Cosplay Melee.

I think when it comes to their careers, it’s wide open, and I love that.

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New Lens

I didn’t bust out my manual this weekend, or take close ups of the girls (they wouldn’t let me). But, I did grab my new lens and take it out for a spin while they were scootering.

Last fall when I bought a new camera I also bought a new lens, a 55-250mm. To be completely honest, I wanted a lens that would help me get a shot of the loons that are on my parents lake. They are gorgeous, but I am always too far away. But of course once I got the lens, I didn’t see any more loons.

I almost always shoot with my 50mm prime lens, so it was weird having a zoom! Very fun to be able to get different perspectives without having to run all over the place though.

55mm. I stood on the front porch and took pictures from there.

250mm. It’s snowing right now so it’s crazy to look at these and realize two days ago they were in tank tops!

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Saturday was supposed to be sunny and beautiful, so my mom came up and we were going to do yard work and bask in the sunshine. Except it was cloudy, and not that warm. We watched the girls ballet class, ran a few errands, and still did the yardwork. By the time dinner rolled around the sun was peeking out and it had warmed up enough to pull the table out of the garage and eat outside. Note to my mother – we forgot the cushions for the chairs! That’s why everything felt off.

I’ve realized that it makes a huge difference doing things on the weekends with another adult. I didn’t do that enough this winter. I need to figure out something for next winter, because even though I’m an introvert and love my time at home on the weekends, I need some social time.

Sunday! Was beautiful! It was supposed to be cold and rainy, but I think everything went south of us? It was warm enough for us to walk to church, scooter outside, and take the dogs for walk. It sprinkled a few times, but overall was a gorgeous day.

Our big Sunday activity was fondue! A month or so ago, Caden found a book series that she liked. It’s about Pegasus, and honestly after reading the back of the book I did not think it was something that would hold her interest but she loved it. She reads mostly graphic novels, and I’m always trying to get her to branch out, so I was very excited she liked these bigger books. She was very proud of herself for reading books with 30+ chapters. There were six books in the series, and since Delaney got Benihana when she finished Harry Potter, Caden wanted a fun dinner when she finished this series. We talked through a lot of options, but ultimately she wanted to fondue. She even asked to do it Sunday afternoon so we weren’t rushed. Best idea ever! We ate about 3:00, everything was cleaned up by 4:00 and we all had the rest of the day to do whatever.  I may do this every Sunday!

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I took a bunch of pictures one morning earlier this week, as well as pictures outside last night and every single picture except this one was blurry. This camera focuses slightly different than my old camera, and I think it’s time I sit down with the manual and figure it out rather than hoping it picks the right focus spot. I also want to figure out the wifi piece so it’s easier to snag pictures off the camera.

This weekend, my goal is to take some close ups of the girls. I used to take so many! But I just don’t do that anymore. I probably have more pictures of the dogs than the kids these days and that needs to change.

Here’s the ever gorgeous Larkie. We have switched from her winter fleece to her spring fleece. Sometimes she doesn’t wear any fleece at all! It’s so weird seeing her without one though. Her fur looks so white and for some reason, she seems like such a peanut.

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Last week we had their 9 year well check. I’m came prepped this time around, there was no way I was going to be shamed like last year. When in doubt? Lie. Do my kids eat a lot of vegetables? Yes they do! Although it wasn’t the interrogation it was last year, so I didn’t have to say much. It was after Midas’ eye appointment so perhaps I looked like someone who was not up for a fight?

60 lbs (34%) 53 inches (58%)

51 lbs (8%) 51 3/4 inches (39%)

They both gained 6 lbs in the last year, although Delaney grew 3 inches while Caden only grew 2 inches. We have never had a height gap like this! They wear different size pants and shirts, it’s definitely weird.

I was concerned about Caden’s lack of weight gain, since she’s been hovering around the 50 lb mark for six months, but she’s following her growth curve so it is what it is. She is definitely aware of the fact that she is smaller than a lot of people in her class. I think she’s both on the short end, and one of the lightest. We’ve talked a lot lately about how she was born smaller, and her body is different than everyone else’s. Some day I’m sure that will come in handy, but in third grade it can be rough.

The doctor said to start expecting more questions about their body and the changes that are coming. Woo. I’m guessing that will more be this summer, when they will be the youngest kids in their group rather than the oldest as they have been the last few years. The things that get discussed on the YMCA bus always shock me.

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