The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Rain and Snow

The girls had riding lessons last night and once again, they had a really great lesson! They are doing more cantering now and Caden is beyond joyful about it. She just beams afterward. Delaney is working through her feelings about cantering, but with a little more time to get used to it, she’ll be fine. I had no plans to do lessons this summer beyond the two weeks of camp we’ll do, but then I decided I really want to keep the momentum going so maybe just lessons in June. But when I was talking things through with their trainer I pretty much signed up for the whole summer. Every week. Wednesdays at 7:45am. Does Caribou let you order ahead from your phone? I’m going to need that enhancement completed by June 14.

Tuesday. I finally moved us outside! They really look like twins here don’t they?

Wednesday. Rain. Although Caden loves that umbrella so it doesn’t bother her. No picture from Thursday because it was so cold we all had to get out our winter jackets! No bueno.

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Easter Crafts

Throwback to Easter! The Saturday before Easter we headed out to my aunt’s house for the annual Easter celebration. Per the usual, our day started out with a craft. I feel like our crafts get more elaborate every year? This year was no exception. Lisa had a bunch of little pots and a bunch of succulents. She also had paint, rocks, and other things we could decorate with. I took the easy road out and picked a pretty white milkglass dish to plant my succulent in. No decorating needed! The girls got super into it though. They each decorated two or three pots? I’d have to count how many plants are in the dining room.

They each painted their pots, and luckily, the paint dried quickly. Then they had Lisa make their name into a sticker (using her Crickut?). So pretty! As soon as their first pot was finished, they were reaching for another.
All of the colors they used were bright which was perfect. They add a definite pop of color to our dining room!

Post craft we colored eggs and had an egg hunt, then we ate. Standard fare. And we toasted to Lisa and Stan’s 25th wedding anniversary! I do love these family gatherings. They give the girls a broader sense of family and with only one parent, I feel like they need that.

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Happy birthday Annie!

Annabelle is three years old today! Man, time has flown with this girl. It feels like she’s been part of our family forever.

Annie has been loving life lately. With the warm weather last weekend and all the noise and chaos in the house, the dogs spent all day outside. Annie loves patrolling the yard and chasing off the bunnies and squirrels. Her best friend next door came out and played chase along the fence with her, and she got to chomp on her bone in the shade.

When we get a new foster, they generally look to Annie to figure out how to behave. They follow her around the yard, in and out the door, and they watch how she behaves in the house. It’s a pretty big role for her to take on, and I know at times she gets frustrated because most fosters don’t understand personal space, but she does it anyway, and I love her for that.

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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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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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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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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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The end of break

So Thursday evening Nevada went to her forever home! Our adoption coordinator stopped by to pick her up and was loving on Midas while we chatted. I commented that his eye was red again, but brushed it off since his bad eye is red off and on. But that night it got worse quickly, and Friday morning I was on the phone making him an appointment at his eye doctor. Unfortunately, the appointment was for 10:45am, which threw off our plans for the day. Oh well, it’s his eye and we cannot mess around with that.

The doctor immediately said his eye did not look good which prompted me to say “Will it need surgery??” Not yet. Long story short, he has a corneal ulcer, cause unknown. He gets pain meds once a day, and antibiotic ointment four times a day. He must have been in quite a bit of pain, because about two minutes after the doctor put the anesthetic on his eye, he fell asleep in my lap. I’m hoping my noon hours stay free so I can run home at lunch and give him his medicine.

After his appointment I was exhausted, so we jumped in the car to grab some lunch and some April Fools cupcakes! This was our second year doing this and it’s so fun! They expanded their gluten free/dairy free options tremendously! I got the buttered popcorn which was very good, and then another non crazy chocolate cupcake with strawberry frosting. The girls got unicorn poop, worms and dirt, and kitty litter.

Saturday afternoon we hit up an adoption event. The event the week prior was wall to wall people, so I was excited to get Huey lots of exposure. Unfortunately, the beautiful weather meant people did other things, and it was a pretty quiet event. Huey’s hormones aren’t all gone quite yet, so he spent most of his time being held since he humped too many other dogs. Oh Huey.

We were able to love on lots of other dogs though! This is Delaney posing with dog Delaney! I’ve kept track of dog Delaney because of her name, but we had never been at an event with her. She is very shy and wouldn’t allow Delaney to hold her, but Laney was so thrilled to get this picture.

Because we couldn’t do the Crayola Experience on Friday, we went instead on Saturday. A coworker had recommended it, but I had no idea what to expect. I thought we would be there an hour or two, we were there for three and could have stayed longer. I cannot recommend it highly enough! It definitely engages kids of all ages. There were tons of stations and because of the nice weather, we didn’t have to ever wait.

Everything was very technology driven. At this station, the girls colored an outfit, then scanned it in. A minute later you looked up and the girls was walking down the runway wearing the dress you colored. It was so cool! They are both already asking to go back and want annual passes so we can go all the time.

We ended Saturday with homemade pizzas at home. I debated grabbing dinner at the mall, but it was crazy and Huey doesn’t do the best when we’re gone, so we hustled home.

On Sunday we cleaned. Games were put away, markers were put away, floors were scrubbed, and laundry was done. It feels so good to have the house in order again!

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I asked Alexa if it was going to snow and she said yes, to expect about two inches. I think we’re at 4 inches at this point, and it’s still snowing as of Sunday evening! Alexa, who gives you your forecast info???

Sunday after dinner I realized we had a low key, boring weekend and if I wanted some content for the good old blog, I should probably take some pictures. Threw the dogs out in the snow and voila! These were taken at 7:00pm, so they are heavily edited. Heavily. Also, I cranked up the ISO so grainy. Just look beyond that k?

Lark was not amused. Not at all. She avoids the snow at all costs and will normally only go where I’ve shoveled or Annie has worn a path, but she had no options and her fleece suit only covers so much. Sorry girl!

Nevada had her first adoption event on Sunday. I’m fairly proactive at events. When people approached the dogs I immediately went up to them and said “Are you looking for anyone in particular? No? MEET NEVADA.” She’s young, she can be an only dog, and she’s potty trained. She’s rescue dog gold! Unfortunately, no one we talked to today was interested in adopting right now, they were more looking for in the future. Also, we decided she’s a chihuahua/shiba inu mix based on her curly tail and her face/ears.

Annie is my only dog that loves the snow and doesn’t mind it one bit. She was tearing it up out there! Nevada finally joined her and raced around a bit. I really need those two to start playing to get Nev’s energy out, and to help her lose some weight. She’s already lost a pound!

This was the best picture I could get of all three dogs playing (I left Midas in the house, I’m not that cruel). Annie was having a blast and the other two were lobbying hard to go back inside.

Pretty girl.

And another pretty girl!

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