The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

New Car!

We bought a new (to us) car!

Our old car was a 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor. It only had 152,000 miles on it, so I thought we had a few more years of driving it before I’d need to purchase something new but, last fall it started going through oil a little faster than it should, so I knew our time together was ending.

I had been researching new vehicles that fit our criteria (SUV, 3rd row, large cargo room with 3rd row down, excellent gas mileage) and had decided to get a Toyota Highlander. I was watching the used market to see what we could get for the money I had allocated but man, most of the cars in my price range had 100,000 miles on them. It seemed not smart to get a car with a few thousand miles less than the car I was trading in? So I extended my research. I’ve driven Mitsubishis for 20 years and have had a really good experience with them. I was noticing that I could get an Outlander that was just a year or two old for the same price as a 5 year old Highlander which intrigued me.

I figured I’d wait until May or so before pulling the trigger, but this winter the Endeavor handled the snow horribly and the shocks were so bad I thought that my tire had blown multiple times going down the pot holed streets. And so, the time was now. The first task was to test drive the Outlander. If it drove really badly then I would refocus on the Highlander. But, it didn’t! And the dealership had a Highlander in stock so we were able to compare the two vehicles literally side by side. The Highlander was bigger, but not really bigger inside. Done! Except the sales guy was kind of slimey.

Long story longer, the Cadillac dealership across the highway from us had an Outlander that fit my criteria perfectly (leather interior and sun roof). The sales guy was really nice, and I was crazy excited to be able to get my car serviced 5 minutes from my house AND get free car washes for life! The new car has bluetooth, a backup camera, and heated seats. It feels good to join the 21st century! We’re still figuring out all of the buttons, but we’re all excited about it and everyone has pledged to keep it clean.

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Almost Ten

Ramsey required twice daily walks. His morning walk was non-negotiable and honestly, I was barely awake and so we just went, even when it was really cold. I think it helped that there was rarely a strong wind in the mornings, unlike the evenings. But, Delaney often came with me on our evening walks. Our walks were never super long because no one was up for that, but we’d walk for 15-20 minutes and she would chatter that whole time, telling me about her day. She got really excited when she saw me getting ready to take him out because she loved that time with me.

Delaney is definitely on an upswing. She’s maturing. She’s more aware of time in the mornings and doesn’t like being late, whereas previous years she was just late every day and didn’t really care. She did her breakfast dishes yesterday even though it almost made her late because she knew I would appreciate it. Tuesday evening I had a virtual launch event for a new team member. It meant I needed to go live on Facebook, and then had to post and comment for the event. They gathered all the dogs in their room and made sure the house was quiet for me while I did it. When it was over I tucked them in and she said “Are you a Level 1 now?” She even knows my next title promotion! And the cherry on top? She’s super into trying new foods. She even ate something that was spicy the other day and liked it!

Caden is a little behind Delaney, but that doesn’t surprise me. She has always caught the upswing closer to their actual due date at the end of April. She has a lot of rough days. I try to make sure to listen, but not let her stay down in the dumps. She does see Delaney getting praised, which makes her want to try new foods as well. She had salad at lunch and was super proud of herself! She’s already on time every morning and asking what she can do to help out, but she’s always done that. Right now she prefers alone time on the couch versus going for walks, but I find her in bed with me at least a few nights a week, so clearly she has her own way of getting time with me.

Anyway, this is all to say I’m loving this age! We watch Top Chef and they remember the names of the contestants who were booted off. They are aware of the things I do for them and thank me over and over. It’s been really nice, and has me super excited for our trip to California in March!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

I love planning special things for Valentine’s Day! We were going to do heart shaped pancakes, but we had pancakes for dinner last night so maybe just heart shaped strawberries? And for dinner, it’s Caden’s favorite – steak and baked potatoes! I have mushrooms and asparagus for me, but the girls have been very brave with new foods lately so maybe they’ll try them?

A few weeks ago we went over to our neighbor’s house and she took a bunch of Valentine themed pictures. They turned out so cute! I kind of love how Delaney’s glasses match her dress. We all got a kick out of Caden’s socks. I didn’t think they’d show up in the pictures! Thank you Jaime!!

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Sunday evenings have become my R+F planning nights and I’ve been so focused on that side of things I keep forgetting to write a blog post!

Friday! We had a Rodan + Fields corporate event downtown. The local consultants that I’ve connected with were going, and my new consultant came and it was so fun to introduce everyone and get to hang out. And! Some of their leaders flew into town as well. I’ve heard about them and how amazing they are, so it was really nice to meet them.

I’m just going to take a second here and say how much I’m loving my side gig, the friendships it’s opened up and the passion in me it’s reignited. I said it on Facebook but I went into this thinking it would be some extra money selling skincare, and hopefully be a Plan B to give me more time freedom. You think you’re going to post on Facebook and have some conversations and help people have the best skin of their life, but it’s so much more than that. There are the amazing people I’ve met, who are so giving with their ideas and knowledge. There is the strategy side of things that I get a slice of at my day job, but I get the whole deal with my own business. And building my team? I knew I’d love that! If there are any hustlers out there looking for something more, let’s chat! There is so much I’m loving about this business and this business model and I’m here to share!

Saturday we went car shopping after piano lessons. The Mitsubishi is on its last legs, although it isn’t dire straits yet. I’ve been researching and price comparing for a few months, but my shocks are getting really bad and I’m ready to pull the trigger. I’ve narrowed it down to a specific car but wanted to test drive it to make sure it was everything we wanted. I had zero intention to buy the car that day, but I’m not sure if that’s poor form or what but the sales guy (who was already smarmy (and smelly)) became quite condescending when he found out he wasn’t making the sale that day. Ugh. Won’t be going back to that dealership! I talked to a guy at work and he said to aim more for the end of the month, since they may be more willing to negotiate then.

Sunday was an adoption event/fundraiser at a clothing shop in St. Paul. We took Ramsey and he got a lot of attention! There were a few times when I was trying on clothes and I could hear him howling so I had to run over to calm him down. Poor guy just wanted to play with all the dogs! He also went home with his new foster mama. Our house just wasn’t the best for him, he really needed to be with bigger dogs that he could play with. While we tried having a bigger dog in the house, I’m realizing that that mix is difficult. Hopefully the big guy gets adopted soon so he can just settle into his forever home.

Beyond that it’s been a lot of Olympics watching at our house. I’ve realized that I can watch just about any sport for at least 10 minutes.

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New horses for February

When we got out to riding lessons last night the girls were assigned different horses than we were expecting. Patrick had a sore leg, and RenoBob was switched to someone in an earlier lesson. The girls were now going to be riding Truman and Rocky.

Caden got Truman. Delaney rode him much of last year. I love Truman! He’s gorgeous. His coat is a dark brown, and he has black socks. He’s also a huge flirt! I do love a horse with personality! He snuggled right into me and was all in for kisses which I love.

As soon as the lesson was over Caden was gushing about him. He’s a great horse, and she loved his fast trot. She was absolutely in love with him which made me laugh. Every horse they ride is immediately their favorite horse. This definitely didn’t use to be the case, but I think now that they’re more confident riders they have a better connection with their horse and work better as a team.

Rocky! I rode Rocky for my lesson with the girls over the holidays. He’s awesome, but you need to be confident or he will do his own thing. Delaney fell in love with him! Apparently he has a bumpy canter, but she loved riding him and couldn’t stop gushing about him. He is now her favorite horse, and Ziggy has gone to a close second. I still made sure to give Ziggy lots of love though!

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Creative Night

For the past few months, the girls have been working on a lot of creative projects at school. The projects run from poems to paintings to sculptures. I’ve been hearing a lot about them, and a few first drafts made it home so I had some idea what they were doing. Last Thursday was the night at school when all of the projects were displayed and it was so amazing! Everyone in all of the classes did a really great job. And seriously, there were so many projects to see.

They did three poems, a drawing, a painting, a mask, and a sculpture. I brought my phone and my camera, but batteries on both devices died while we were there so I don’t have pictures of everything. My favorite piece was a color poem where the kids talked about a color through all five senses. Of course I didn’t get a picture of either girls’ color poems!

There obviously was a format for this poem, and you could tell the kids were supposed to write something about their families because some of the comments about siblings were hilarious. Love Laney’s “Sister of someone who is like me but different.” Isn’t that perfect for an identical twin?

They drew their hand on a piece of paper, then divided the paper into sections and made designs in those sections. These turned out really cool!

This was their art with a purpose. Both girls painted about climate change.

Here’s Caden’s poem. “Daughter of a project queen” I like her thinking!

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Standard Weekend

Our weekend was very basic. There was a little extra here and there but we’re in that zone people, where it’s too cold to do any adventures and there are no holiday gatherings. Basic.

I worked from home on Friday and was uber productive. I was able to take a break in the afternoon and take Ramsey for a nice walk while listening to JT’s new album. It wasn’t crazy cold and we took a new route, so it was one of those walks that wakes you up and energizes you. Once the girls got home from school and unpacked, we headed to the local pizza place for dinner. The girls aren’t big pizza fans, but this place has chicken bacon penne alfredo that they like, and gluten free crust that I like, so it’s a win all around.

Saturday was cleaning. It wasn’t fun, but it was necessary. Things went downhill quickly last week and everything just needed a good scrubbing so that’s what we did. It snowed most of the day, so we ran quickly to the library and grocery store and then got home. The roads were no good.

Since it was Super Bowl weekend, a few of us went out for drinks near where we knew the big celebs were staying. No sightings while I was out with them, but it’s been so fun to get out and about with my friends again! Also, I need new going out shirts since I’ve worn the same one the last three times.

We tried to do some organizing on Sunday. I’m still trying to figure out how to move their bookcase downstairs so we can fit a desk in their room, but I can’t figure out how to make that happen. Too. many. books. I also reorganized my R+F files and images. My team is growing! Which is super exciting but also means I needed to get organized so others could find things too. I also found a bunch more sample packs hidden in my events bin. Anyone want me to send them a mini facial? I love to share the R+F love!!

We did hit a friend’s house for the Super Bowl. I really don’t mind watching the game at home, but I’m taking all opportunities to be social, so we hit the party for the first half + halftime show. Also, I knew they would have good food. Reading Facebook after the game I realized I missed most of the good commercials! At least you can rewatch them later.

I sent the girls to bed and stayed up to watch This Is Us. It was amazing, but nowhere near as soul wrecking as when Derek died on Grey’s. Still, that is my absolute favorite show right now!

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Big month for progress

The girls rode Ziggy and Daily for two months and it’s been a great two months! They were both really comfortable on their horses, which meant that they could focus on other things and really make great progress with their riding skills.

What does that really mean? For the last two months it’s meant more consistent cantering during lessons. They used to canter some lessons, or maybe just at the end of the lesson, but the last few months they’ve been cantering every lesson, and doing more and more jumps at a canter. In order to do that, you really need to have control of your horse. It’s very easy for the horse to do one thing and the rider to do another when you’re cantering. Two weeks ago they had a loop going where they would canter along the rail and then do two jumps down the middle of the ring, then canter around and do the jumps again. This really created momentum! Maybe a little too much at times, but the girls remained in control and it was fun to watch.

Daily. I’m not sure if you like me, but I love your fluffy coat, and how it looks like your coat is black but there’s really a lot of brown in it. Thank you for being so short and easy to bridle.

Ziggy. My man. I love you and you love me. I love your personality, and I love how you prance when you trot around the ring. And I love how much you love treats. Don’t worry, even when the girls stop riding you I’ll still bring you treats.

Next month, they’ll ride RenoBob and Patrick! Patrick is my very favorite horse so I’m super excited to get to hang out with him again!

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Flower Girls

The girls are going to flower girls in my cousins Alyssa’s wedding this summer! They are very excited. We are making the most of this experience since who knows when they may get to do it again!

I bought my bridesmaid dress a few months ago, but we wanted to wait until after the holidays to go shopping for them. We had looked through the flower girl dresses then and there were a few options I thought would work for the girls. But, as our consultant walked up to us she said “Let’s go look at the junior bridesmaid dresses!” And I was all “Wha???????” Not really ready for that turn of events, but Caden’s eyes lit up.

Caden is definitely the more fashion conscious of the two. She cares more about what she wears. Not necessarily brands, but she likes to mix things up and has opinions. Delaney has some opinions, but will wear a t-shirt and jeans/leggings every day if left to her own devices.

She started showing us a few dresses and the girls were a bit timid with their opinions. We chose two styles and headed back to try them on. Dress A looked good on Delaney, but not on Caden. Dress B looked good on Caden, but not Delaney. Their body types and personalities are so different, it was obvious what worked and what didn’t. But we weren’t sold so we headed back out and found a few flower girl dresses to try on (I insisted, but the girls didn’t like ANY of them) and a few more junior bridesmaid dresses. By this point Caden was pretty vocal and was really getting into it. Alyssa and I had to hustle in that dressing room getting dresses zipped and unzipped and rehung!

In the end, Caden loved the very first dress she tried on and kept going back to that, so that was definitely her choice. Delaney waffled between two, but tried them both on again and picked one as well. Dresses are now ordered, and we will purchase shoes closer to the wedding date. If both girls grow about 1/2″, we should be good on dress length!

As we left Caden said to me “I could have tried on A LOT more dresses Mom.” I don’t doubt it kiddo!

** The girls turn 10 in a month and while it’s starting to sink in, every time I look at this picture I can’t help but wonder when on earth they got to be little ladies???

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Super Bowl Adventure

The last few weeks have been busy at work and at home. I didn’t schedule much for the weekend so that we’d have some down time. But, the Super Bowl is in town and Friday was in the 40’s, and I had a chance to walk through things Friday afternoon so I knew the lay of the land (at least a little) so why not head down there and explore.

By the time I got home I was exhausted and already thinking about bailing on the outing. The girls were crabby as well and I could see this outing going sideways quickly. But, this was really our best chance to do this so I told the girls that I wanted to go but we all needed attitude adjustment to have fun. Weirdly enough, it worked. We all hustled and grabbed some dinner and headed downtown.

You guys, we had the BEST time! Everyone had a really great attitude and we just enjoyed whatever we happened upon. The crowds weren’t crazy, so we weren’t constantly battling people. We found great food which always boosts everyone’s spirits, and the girls got excited the exhibits. It was that rare outing where when they asked for hot cocoa to warm up, it wasn’t a greedy request, but a good request. You know what I mean? There are days where it is nonstop requests, but this wasn’t like that.

On the way to Super Bowl Live we saw a few kids with cotton candy. We thought they got it from a stand selling popcorn too, so I told the girls we’d hit it on the way out. Well, on the way out we realized they only sold popcorn and it didn’t look all that great. Caden REALLY wanted that cotton candy and since we’d had such a great night, I said we’d head downstairs and outside and see if we could find it. Once down the escalator we saw the cotton candy stand. They sold crazy flavors, and since I work downtown and said I’d be back this week they gave us two for one! It was the perfect end to our night. The whole walk back to the car both girls kept commenting on how much fun they had.

We are a family of routine who likes down time. I feel like we often short change ourselves by staying home rather than venturing out. This adventure proved to me that we need to get out more!

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