The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Minneopa State Park

First, a Caden update. She has held it together quite well and remained very upbeat about her broken arm, but last night at bedtime she totally and completely lost it. I felt so bad. She had been arguing with her sister and I was telling them to be nice to each other when she started sobbing in my arms telling me how everything was hard to do and she had to sit out of everything. She can’t write, she can’t play, she can’t even tie her shoes. She gets her cast on Thursday morning and I’m hoping she’ll have use of her hand after that. In the meantime, lots of love and understanding.

Friday! We headed to Minneopa State Park to do a little exploring. I’m sure I’ve been to this park because it’s only ten minutes away, but it’s been years and years. There is a gorgeous waterfall that we hiked around, and we also saw the bison. The bison were kind of far away so I didn’t bother with pictures of them, but I did get a few pictures of some cute bears around the waterfall!


The girls packed lighter jackets for the weekend, so my mom took them to Target and bought these vests. So cute!


Both falls. Every time I’m at a waterfall I have the wrong lens on my camera!


It’s a thing to carve your name into the limestone around the falls. We joked that if we looked hard enough, we’d probably find ‘Curt + Kathy’ somewhere! My parents came here a lot when they were in high school.


Caden was fearless! She was in the lead and climbed all over the rocks. There was a path that led down to the falls, but you had to climb over rocks and over trees. I kept saying “Are you sure this is the way?”


Family picture.

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Broken Arm

So. I headed down to Mankato Friday afternoon. The weather was gorgeous! We hit up one of the state parks that afternoon and did a little hiking (more on that tomorrow). Saturday morning we ran some errands, snapped some pictures that will hopefully be our holiday card, and I took the dogs for a nice, long walk. Since it was so beautiful out, my dad and I took the girls to the nearby elementary school playground. They’d been playing for a bit and we were just thinking about heading home, when Caden fell off the slide**. By the way she was crying I knew instantly that we were headed for the Emergency Room. I scooped her up and we were in the truck and on our way in 30 seconds.

As we were driving, we realized we were going to drive right past my parent’s house so we dropped Delaney off. I sneaked a few looks at Caden’s wrist and while it was hard to see with her long sleeve shirt, her arm looked wavy and I knew that wasn’t a good sign.

Even though she wasn’t crying it was obvious she was in a lot of pain so we checked in as quickly as possible and got her back to a room. I wasn’t sure what protocol would be since there were definitely people waiting, but maybe since it was a child in pain that gets you back faster?

They weighed her, then took her back to x-ray. The x-ray comes up immediately and even to my Grey’s Anatomy trained eye, it was SUPER obvious both bones in her forearm were broken. At least I knew what to google. Google told me this type of break generally doesn’t require surgery which immediately helped my anxiety.

Overall, we were only there for two hours. After x-ray they got her some pain meds (I had to ask three times, but I did say please and thank you). The process of reducing the fracture was equal parts gross and fascinating. I never need to see that again, but I could not help but watch. Caden was SUPER brave. She tolerates pain so well. She only cried for a few minutes, then she just soldiered through it. I held her hand and snuggled her and did what I could to comfort her, but everyone commented on what an amazing patient she was. (Splint for now, cast later this week.)


When the doctor came in to find out what happened, two other gentlemen came in as well and I knew immediately they were witnesses in case they needed to call CPS. Even though I had nothing to worry about, I started spitting out facts when they asked if she’d ever had surgery before. (Yes, 6 surgeries on her eye, she’s a preemie, 31 weeks 6 days, 2 lbs 11 ounces, identical twin, she’s petite.) Oh well. Also, when I went to fill her liquid vicodin prescription, the pharmacist very casually grilled me on what happened. As I told my mom, when you’re picking up narcotics in a city you don’t live in, for a child that isn’t with you, it maybe looks a little sketch. The pharmacist was super nice and went over all of the pain management options with me again, and clearly, I won’t ever complain about people looking out for other people.

To make this even longer, when I tried to get her into her pajamas, we realized they were not going over her splint. We put on her pajamas pants and I had her wear my tank top to bed. Sunday morning my mom and I headed over to Kohl’s to find shirts with stretchy sleeves that we hope will work for the next eight weeks.

Even though we’ve kind of been down this path when she broke her collar bone, the cast on her arm will present different challenges. Some of her restrictions we won’t know until she gets her cast on. I’m guessing no piano, no gym, no horseback riding, no ballet, and possibly no swimming in Arizona. But maybe ballet? And likely recess just be smart? And the pharmacist said they can make casts you can get wet now? So I’m hoping that the restriction list will get shorter.

** I was talking to my dad with my head turned so I didn’t see how she fell, but according to Delaney she was climbing up the slide when her foot caught and she went over the side. My dad said she was coming down the slide when her foot caught and she went over. Either way, she wasn’t very high off the ground when she fell, maybe three feet? But she put her hand out to break her fall. Luckily, the playground is covered in cushy material, or her break may not have been so clean.

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Alone Time

The girls had Thursday and Friday off from school this week and since my mom has more PTO hours than she knows what to do with, she offered to watch them. My dad picked them up Wednesday afternoon and off they went! Which meant I had two days home alone before joining them. At work we were talking about what you do when your kids are gone and you have the house to yourself. One coworker cleaned. Cleaned! Another did happy hour every night. Me? I shopped. There were a few things I wanted to get before winter, and shopping during the week just doesn’t happen when the girls are home. It was really nice to have the time to wander and try things on! And I found exactly what I was looking for.


Last Friday. Delaney put her hair in a pony tail all by herself! And I didn’t need to fix it at all!


Monday. Every morning the girls wait until the last possible moment (generally when I’m brushing my teeth) to ask me to sign their reading log. And then they shove it in their backpack. You can see Caden’s very wrinkly reading log in her hands. (At least once a week they completely forget.)


Tuesday. Putting a little personality into the pic!


Wednesday. I asked them to do ninja kicks, but Delaney kept kicking really slow which wasn’t working at all!

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This is the tree in front of our house. I don’t love fall or the cooler temps, but I’m reminded daily of the beauty of this season. 




Look at him! Doesn’t he look awesome? I had my doubts, but our BB-8 pumpkin actually turned out pretty spot on.


We bought the $10 kit from Target with low expectations. Turns out, that was the right track. With the paint in the kit, this is about how white our pumpkin ended up. The kit recommended a 9-11″ pumpkin. I’d say our pumpkin was in the 8-9″ range? And there was nowhere near enough white paint to get the pumpkin white. I busted out the white spray paint and that worked perfectly. Except it peels a bit if you scratch at it, but that’s to be expected. The girls popped on the accessories fairly easily and, voila! BB-8. Do we add a Darth Vader pumpkin to keep him company?

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Check it off the list

We have gotten into a good routine on Saturdays. Clean in the mornings, ballet, groceries, then free time back at home. Every Saturday I think “It’s been such a productive day!” It feels so good to cross things off my list at home, especially since my to do list at work only seems to grow! The girls are really good about cleaning now. At first they whined and complained, but after breakfast we make a list, and everyone pitches in. They know that once things are done, they can play or do whatever they want. It only takes us about an hour and a half to get everything done, and we crank the music on the Sonos to keep us moving.

I don’t love to clean, but I love a clean house. This week I realized my house wasn’t clean and it was stressing me out, so I took some extra time to clean our hot spots. For us, it’s the desk, coffee table, and dining room table. They tend to be dumping grounds and once it builds, it’s so hard to clear it off. It felt so good to walk through the house and have it be clean!

The final room making me cranky was the girls room. My parents were up Sunday for the fall festival, so my mom and I attacked it. We debated rearranging it, but in the end we realized that was more than we were willing to bite off on a Sunday morning. Instead we cleared, cleaned, and organized. I finally cleared all the junk off their dresser. Cross your fingers it stays that way! My mom cleared out the bottom of the closet, adding to our Goodwill pile. We brought a few totes up from the basement, which will hopefully mean that everything will have a home.

In the old house, all of their toys and art supplies were in the main living room. Things got played with because they saw them every day. After living in this house almost a year, there are a lot of toys that have never been played with since we put them away. A large part of that is because they’re stored in the basement, and we are never in the basement. We’ve moved their legos up, and reorganized the toy cabinet. I’m hoping with some strategic moves, we can get things where they should be so they get played with again.

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The temps have been bouncing around. Sometimes warm during the day, almost always chilly in the mornings and evenings. It’s fall, and it’s making me sleepy. Anyone else?


Tuesday. (Monday was not a good morning for us. It was time to leave and Delaney had not yet brushed her hair, didn’t have socks or shoes on, and was just trying to find her reading log for me to sign. Yikes.) Anyway, they are all about the silly faces now! Caden is wearing a new cardigan we got from Old Navy.


Wednesday. Delaney wore a long sleeve shirt under this sweater dress because it was itchy. I don’t think the sweater dress lasted past lunchtime.


Thursday. It’s the last week of the read-a-thon, and both classrooms had a ‘Bedtime Story’ theme. They both took pillows and blankets and Delaney even wore her pajamas.

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Back up Glasses

This summer my aunt Lisa told me about Zenni Optical (apparently Chloe told me about them too when I first posted about Caden needing glasses!). They are a super low cost site where you can buy glasses. At that time, Caden had had her glasses for a few months and while nothing had gone wrong, it was only a matter of time.

We perused the site several, several times. Every time she found a pair of glasses she liked, I read the reviews and most times we were forced to move on. Kids glasses are tough, because kids faces are such different sizes and shapes. You upload a picture and input your pupil width, but it still seemed like every pair of glasses she liked were made for a much smaller face. I finally googled the Lucky Brand glasses we bought from the eye doctor to get the bow length which helped greatly. Since her main pair of glasses are neutral, I let her go with color for her back up pair of glasses. She went with purple! Her frames were $15.95, and with lenses and shipping, our total was $25. Much, much cheaper than what we paid at the eye doctor.


When she initially got the glasses she said they fit differently, which didn’t surprise me. They weren’t as comfortable, but I think that was because she wasn’t used to them. At that point, we put them aside as back up glasses and she wore her main glasses every day. And then! She had one bow on her main glasses that came loose three times. We had taken them in twice to get them tightened, but I finally called and said listen, order us a new pair. Luckily that was part of the contract, so the new frames were free.

It took a week to get the new frames, and then another week before I could get over to the eye doctor to pick them up. Luckily, she had her back up pair of glasses to wear. I’m honestly not sure what we would have done otherwise! Her vision has gotten bad enough that she wears her glasses all the time, school would have been very difficult without them.

Long story longer, we love Zenni. The glasses were cheap, but as far as I can tell they are of good quality. They have a huge selection, and she loves the pair she picked out. I do think it’s hard since you can’t try them on before you order, but by uploading a picture you can get a solid idea of what they’ll look like on you. I had no intention of buying a backup pair of glasses, but since they were so cheap I did and thank goodness I did. They saved the day!

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Landscape decisions

My poor parents. Every spring and fall they come up and help me with the lawn work. No more is the lawn work at our new house, that yard is low maintenance. We still have to make treks back to the rental house. Last weekend the girls and I biked over to the house and took a look at the state of things. The hedges were out of control, the hostas needed to be cut back, but overall the yard looked fairly good. There is a big hedge in the backyard that my dad and I have spent hours on in the past, but our past work must be working, because this year it was mostly just some trimming. We were done in two and a half hours, and everything looked massively better when we were done.

The girls swing set is still up in the backyard, as is a glider swing and our old garden. The current renters don’t have kids and honestly, I can’t see this house renting out to a family in the near future (unless maybe a single mom?) so I’m not sure the swing set makes sense. It’s also OLD, and possibly a liability. Next spring we’re going to take out the glider swing and the garden, and now it looks like the rest may be getting pulled out as well.


My dad said he could chop off the tree house and bring it over to the new house and put it up there. We could even keep it tall, so they could keep the slide. This would be awesome. They may only use it for another year or two, but it’s already built, so it’s not like we’re buying or building new. It would mean we would need to postpone building the big hammock that we loved at the Duluth cabin, but that’s fine. It will happen eventually.

My mom and I both said we should pull out the swings as well. They are on pea gravel, which we could make into a sitting area? With maybe a pergola over it. We shall see.

It’s been interesting viewing this house as a rental, and realizing not all of the things I loved about it as a homeowner, are good for renters. Hopefully with a few projects, we can make that house a little lower maintenance as well.

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Baron went to his forever family last night! But, before he left us, he came to the bus stop one last time, and to school to pick the girls up. That dog was so social it made me laugh. He loved nothing more than meeting new people, and people loved him! Everywhere we went he attracted so much attention. What a honey. His family is in love with him already, and I can’t wait to get updates on him.


Friday, September 30. Delaney has worn cardigans more often this year, than all of last year!


Monday, October 3. Monday was gorgeous! Beautiful sunny day. It was nice to get one more day of no jackets in.


Tuesday, October 4. Picture day, and of course it was raining in the morning. They had their hoods up and used an umbrella, but what does it matter when pictures happen after gym class?


Wednesday, October 5. They are doing their read-a-thon right now, and the theme for Wednesday was Beach Day. They each packed a beach towel and beach accessories into Target bags to bring to school. I love that they handle all of this on their own now.


Thursday, October 6. It’s also Homecoming Week, so the third grade was supposed to dress in green. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of that color but we did our best! Also, spot Mr. Baron! (Annie is attached to the pink leash, but she’s too short to make it into the picture.)

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