The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Thunder Shirt

I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure why I waited this long to buy Lark a Thunder Shirt. I think I thought we would alleviate her anxiety some other way? But we haven’t. We’ve treated her allergies and her itching, she’s been with us two years, and she’s still incredibly anxious a lot of the time. In fact I think her anxiety even ramped up a bit this summer.

The verdict? It helps. May not in every situation, but definitely in the big ones.

The Thunder Shirt wraps tightly around her belly, and is supposed to act kind of like a swaddle for a baby. The first day she wore it I didn’t notice any difference so I kept it off the next day. But, that evening there was a storm and she was shaking on the couch next to me. I put on the thunder shirt and the shaking stopped. I also put it on before her trip to the dermatology vet. She hates this place because it’s a lot of poking and prodding. She cried when we pulled into the parking lot so again, I thought it wasn’t helping. Normally I have to leave if they need to do anything to her, but she stayed quiet while the doctor was looking at the surgery site and while she pulled out the last stitch. As she was grabbing the stitch I said “Wait a second. I didn’t have to leave!” If I’m in the room she normally freaks out, but I was holding her and she was super calm. She even looked a little sleepy! The shirt definitely kept her calm.

She was still anxious while eating her dinner, and still anxious if I wasn’t near, but overall, it clearly helps in situations where anxiety is beyond just the normal every day level. With those results, I’m super thrilled!

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Horses make me feel better

I still don’t have many words for the mundane, but I did take my camera to riding lessons yesterday morning so we at least have some pictures. To note, it was cloudy and rainy, so not much natural light and a lot of glare from both sides of the arena. Also, I took a chance and brought my zoom lens, knowing it has a lower aperture and wouldn’t let in as much light as I needed so shots might be blurry. It is what it is.

Caden is on Trueman (a horse that in the past Delaney has ridden a lot) and Delaney is on Reno Bob (a horse neither of them has ridden). Both are brown unfortunately, but Caden has a pink riding helmet so that’s your tell. Most of their lessons lately have focused on form, so less cantering and big jumps, and more control your horse around the arena. It’s definitely interesting.

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We had Midas’ recheck today and I was very nervous. Immediately after our last appointment his eye looked much better, but over the weekend I caught him squinting and scratching at it, and it looked red this morning. I was prepared for the worst and was in tears a few times over the last few days. But, they checked the pressure in his bad eye and it was 12. I pumped my fists in the air for that number. (At diagnosis he was 51, last visit it was 35 I think?) His good eye was also 12. This was the best possible news! The medicine is working and we can just keep on with that.

So the drops. He gets three in the morning and three at night, spaced 15 minutes apart. When he first told me of this regime, I thought it was completely unsustainable. Turns out, it’s not that big of a deal. I use Alexa to set 15 minute timers and we’ve worked it into our day. I’m thrilled that he’s responding so well to it and that surgery is off the table for now.

I was so happy and so relieved, I took the little man to the Starbucks drive through and got him a puppuccino! I’ve seen them on Instagram, but have never gotten them for my dogs. It’s just whip cream in a little cup, but he LOVED it. He was so, so happy with his treat.


Magic Wands

Delaney read the Harry Potter books last year, but her love for them continues. Both girls will watch the movies when they’re on tv, and they love to talk about them with their friends. When I saw an event at a local bookstore to have Mr. Ollivander help you pick out your wand, I knew it was perfect for us.

We didn’t get moving as quickly as I hoped to, so we got there about an hour into the event. Instead of using your name to call out your turn, they had crafted Harry Potter-esque names. That was super fun! They thought the wait would be about 30-45 minutes, so we headed to a cafe next door to grab a pastry and something to drink. The girls were very nervous about being away, so we hustled back. The bookstore was small and there was no good place to wait which sucked. We wandered the aisles and tried looking at the books, but there were a lot of people there. Our wait ended up being about an hour, and of course we found the cool, empty spot right before we were called!

Mr. Ollivander began by asking them questions to see if they had any magical capabilities. I told Delaney to answer yes to at least one, but she refused to. Then you waved your hand over the selection of wands and picked one. Once you had your wand you got to practice. They had fun things “happen” when you did that, boxes getting knocked over or animals on the wall talking.

Caden chose a dueling wand, but ended up picking a different wand that has carvings on it. Delaney chose a really pretty wand, but wanted one that was like Harry’s wand. The wands were $40, but what are you going to do? (This place must have made a killing. I couldn’t tell if everyone bought a wand or not since I figured out how things worked way too late.) Overall, totally loved the event. They did a great job with it and I’m hoping they do more in the future!

They are both going to be Harry Potter characters for Halloween, so the wands will work well for their costumes. We did get into a discussion on the drive home as to who gets to be Hermione, and who the other sister will be. I had no idea this would get so contentious! I’m contemplating trying to dye their hair brown/red with something that rinses out quickly, but honestly, it’s dark out on Halloween and will anyone care? Probably not.

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Mr Chill

Someone we know needs to adopt this little dude. He is the best! He’s super chill, but still playful. He loves scratches right behind his ears and down his back. He seems to be potty trained and hasn’t had an accident in the house. At first I thought it was just a fluke, but we’re at five days with him and no accidents. He’s a dream foster. Barking is one of those things that pushes me right over the edge, but he isn’t a barker! He just hangs out. Who needs a buddy?!

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Internets, meet Loki! He’s our newest foster. Since we only have a few more trips up to the lake this summer, I’ve been keeping my eye open for a dog that would fit into our pack. When I saw Loki’s picture I knew he fit the bill. He’s a 5-year-old, 6 lb chihuahua who is super chill and easy going.

We picked him up Sunday night and he’s been a dream. He goes potty outside and happily hangs out in his crate during the day. He has absolutely loved exploring our little yard, and last night even ran around and kicked up his legs a bit! It was so cute to see him get comfortable. At first he was not sure about anyone touching him or picking him up, but he’s getting used to us and even came to me to scratch his belly. In the house he spends all of his time in a dog bed watching us. He hasn’t explored at all. I do wonder what goes through his little head. I’m hoping in time he will be a good playmate for Midas, once he gets comfortable. So far they’ve sniffed a bit, but otherwise ignore each other.

We can’t wait to see more of his personality come out. Until then, we’ll happily snuggle him and scratch his belly. If you’re interested in Loki, please let me know!

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Rich color

Spring of 2016 we had the new fence put in. They recommended we wait to stain it. We probably could have stained it last summer but didn’t, so it was high on the list of projects for this summer. Unfortunately, every weekend we were home and free it was either rainy or cold, so we couldn’t do it. Finally, the stars aligned and we were able to get some staining done on Sunday.

I wanted to try to match the stain color to my house color, so I went for a darker, reddish brown. I had rebate checks for Menards, so that was where I headed. There are two kinds of Pittsburgh outdoor stain, and even though I’d tried to research it, I couldn’t figure out what the difference was between the two types so I asked at the paint desk. Here’s how the conversation went.

“What’s the difference between these two stains? The Ultra and the Paramount?”

“Well, they’re … different.”

“Different how?”

“They’re just different. The Paramount is new and they say it’s better.”

Um, seriously? Isn’t it your job to know this? Since my preferred color was in the Paramount line I went with that (Canyon Sunset for the win). A different guy mixed the stain and tried to get an answer for me. He said that the Paramount line is supposed to more of a satin finish, but I’m not really sure about that either.

We started Sunday morning about 9:30am. I had bought one of those hand pump weed sprayers to use, we also had a roller and the block brushes. It took us a bit of trial and error to figure out what worked best, and how to control the splatter and drips. The roller was great to get the stain on when we had big surface areas to cover, but the sprayer got the stain into the tighter areas. I rolled, and the girls came behind me and worked the stain in with the brushes. We would spray stain where I couldn’t get with the roller, or in the nooks and crannies behind boards.

The six foot privacy fence sections took forever, but once we got beyond those the shorter sections went relatively quickly. Unfortunately, that was right about when the sun came out and it got hot fast. The girls very quickly wished me luck and headed into the air conditioned house. Luckily, after one more section I was in the shade and was able to finish without passing out by 1:00pm. Not too bad? I had thought that we could stain some, take a break, stain some more, take another break, but I forgot how messy staining is. I bought latex gloves for us to wear which was key, but once you’re dirty, you’re only going to clean up once so I just kept at it and had the girls bring me water.

The color is gorgeous. It’s a rich, dark brown and I cannot stop staring at it. I’m really hoping the rain stays away so we can do the other side of the yard next Sunday. Now that we’ve started, I want this project complete!

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Corgis and cupcakes 


Every year we go to Canterbury Park to bet on the ponies and get their faces painted.  This year, I found out about the Corgis & Cupcakes event, which seemed like a combination of all of our favorite things and thus, the perfect event for us.

I had to drop some stuff off at another foster’s house, so we had to take the long way there and got there a little late.  We were all starving, and it was PACKED.  There were long lines everywhere.  We were definitely overwhelmed.  We headed up to the third floor because I thought there was a restaurant there, and my plan was to sit and eat and hope for the best.  The restaurant was closed for a private event, but the snack bar had short lines so we headed there.  After ordering, I frantically looked around for an open table to sit at to slowly realize they were all reserved tables.  A very nice woman saw the look on my face and said we could sit with her.  She had the perfect spot to see the races, and we sat and chatted with her through two horse races, and the first two corgi races.  If she hadn’t been there, we’d have been so screwed.  We could see everything perfectly, and while I love being outside for the races, it was hot and the air conditioning was perfection.

The corgi races.  Oh my goodness.  They were hilarious!  Some dogs had clearly trained, and knew to run to their owners.  Others, not so much, and that was even funnier.  Lots of super cute names too.  Tedford Woofington, and Fluffy Butt were two I remember.

After lunch we decided to head back downstairs and the crowds had definitely thinned out.  We perused a few cupcake vendors and found one with cake pops that the girls wanted.  The girls got their faces painted, we bought an over priced lemonade and watched the horses parade through before the race.  I think that was the biggest bummer.  Normally we can watch the race, run down and see the horses for the next race, bet, and find good seats to watch again but with the huge crowds, it just wasn’t possible.  We watched the second set of corgi races outside and while we were much closer, we couldn’t see much.  But, the crowd was super into it outside so that was super fun.  One dog started running after everyone else had already crossed the finish line, so everyone cheered super loud for him.

And then we left because that was all the people and sun we could handle.  They are doing wiener dog races September 4.  Caden really, really wants to go back for that.  We shall see.  Maybe we’ll head to the lake a day early and come back for it.

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Cool Sunglasses

Caden has asked a few times this summer for sunglasses. My intention was to go on the Zenni Optical site and order from there, but then I realized I have a bunch of FSA dollars, might as well get nice sunglasses from Target. Since Target had done their eye exam, we just stopped in on a Sunday while they were open and the girls picked out some sunglasses. They can do those lenses on any frame, but they started out trying out the Ray-ban frames. OMG they looked so adorable! They each tried on these two and decided very quickly. I was dying! Even better, Target is running a back to school sale, so you get free lenses when you buy Ray-ban Jr frames. Their sunglasses were only $70 each! And they were ready three days later, just in time to take them up to the lake.

I wasn’t sure how much they would wear them, but my mom reported they wore them quite a bit all weekend. I love it, since I know how hard it is on your eyes when the sun is bright. They have new cases for these, and I’m crossing my fingers they continue to take good care of them!

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Cousin Time!

Last Thursday, the girls headed up to the cabin with two of their cousins for a little lake time with Grandma and Grandpa. They had a BLAST! They had special meals, orange soda floats, go karts, bumper boats, tons of swimming time, a trip to the library, and Netflix shows. They seriously had so much fun, both girls are already planning the next one. Huge thanks to my parents for making this so fun for the girls!

I went up on Saturday morning, and as soon as we got the dogs settled, we took the boat out. We tried to fish, but nothing was really biting so we moved to deeper water to swim. Once again, in went the dogs. To be fair, it was hot and I hoped this would cool them off. If you zoom in, you’ll notice Midas giving some great side eye. He was less than pleased. (He went back in the boat pretty quickly.)

Once I got in the water, I had the girls take Lark and Annie away from me, and then let them swim towards me. They can swim when they need to!

I swear the kids could jump off the pontoon for hours.  They were like energizer bunnies, they just kept going and going!  I tried to take pictures but I had the wrong lens on my camera.  Most were too close up, but I got this happy surprise!  I don’t think I have any splash pictures so this is perfect.

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