The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Weekend Wrap up

Because we had the Santa Brunch on Saturday, we switched our piano lessons to the 8:00am time slot because that lesson canceled. While I wouldn’t want that time slot every week, it worked perfectly and made sure everyone was up and moving on time.

After the Santa Brunch we changed clothes and then drove this little girl to her new family. She freaked out when we did the hand off, which we knew she would, be he sat in the back of his car with her until she calmed down. She couldn’t have landed in a better home. The guy knows the breed, knows what to expect, and was super excited.

That said, I was so emotional. After she broke her leg, Midge became aggressive at times. I think she bonded too much with me since I was her primary caretaker. It definitely caused problems, but in between she was so sweet and such a snuggler we worked through it. While our house is definitely calmer now, I miss her like crazy. There’s of course a whole mess of guilt and responsibility tied up in all of this, but it’s been an emotional few days.

Sunday was the Christmas program at church. We take a very low key role in the program and just sing the songs so there aren’t any extra rehearsals. They did a great job with the program this year! It’s a great mix of an updated telling of the story, along with a few songs.

We raced home after church to change clothes and then head out to the horse barns for the holiday show. Last year we were far too new to even go to this, so we were all excited to watch. It’s essentially a horse competition, with four different skill levels. In the middle, the super advanced riders came out and jumped the big jumps. We’ve never seen the girls trainer ride, so that was super fun! She’s such a natural on a horse. It was also crazy to watch the owner ride her gigantic horse. They had the jumps high, and some of the horses were clearing them with a foot to spare. And the horses! Stomping their feet as they cantered, you could tell they LOVED it. The girls agreed they will definitely be in the show next year which will be fun, since we can invite family to come watch them.

While we had quite a bit going on during the day, our evenings were completely free. Saturday I made risotto, which is the perfect cold weather dish. Sunday we had leftovers since we’d all eaten at the horse show. It was so nice to be able to end the day relaxing at home, and knock off a few of our dvr’d shows.

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Upside Down

I buy these gluten free chocolate cupcakes occasionally at Trader Joe’s. I usually eat one, then throw them in the freezer and eat the other three over the next month or so. I bought these on Monday, kind of needed a treat. Got home Tuesday and realized I needed a treat again. Last night I realized that it was a cupcake each night kind of week.

I said it the other day but coming back from vacation we’ve all just been off. I figured once I got a good nights sleep I’d be fine, but things are still just off. We went to Target four days in a row, forgetting something every time and then *still* had to hit Trader Joe’s on Monday for other things. Last night I was driving home from work when I realized that I walked out without my laptop. I’m working from home today, so my work laptop is kind of necessary. I’ll have to drive downtown this morning which kind of wrecks the work from home vibe.

The girls have been emotional and clumsy. Dropping things, crying, bumping into all the things and me, crying.

As a single mom, I can’t be off my game. It’s not good for us all around. So what do I need to do universe?!!


Of Course

A week ago Caden was diagnosed with strep throat. I’ve been doing this long enough that I can look at their tonsils and a temp of 100 and know where that’s going. She recovered very quickly and while it was going to suck a bit to have to take antibiotics in Arizona, at least this all happened before we left. We even joked a bit that Delaney needed to get it before we left. Ha ha.

Flash forward to Friday and we flew in to Arizona. As we knew it would be, it was dry and everyone’s throat hurt and we were thirsty. But Delaney’s throat was especially dry, and she looked a little off and I could no longer chalk it all up to an early flight so I looked at the back of her throat and yep, her tonsils were white. Off to urgent care we went! We got really lucky and there was no wait. We told the doctor our story and he looked at her throat and fever (101 on ibuprofen) and didn’t even need to swab her throat. We had a slight adventure getting her prescription filled, but thanks to GPS we found our way home.

Once back at my parents I realized that Caden’s dose was 2ml more than Delaney’s, even though Delaney weighs 10 lbs more. Luckily, my parents have a friend who is a pharmacist so we called him. After some math and some googling we realized that our pediatrician gave Caden the max dose for her weight, but the urgent care doc gave Delaney the lowest dose for her weight. Honestly, thank goodness for that phone call or I would have been frantic trying to make sure everyone actually got correct doses.

So because that wasn’t enough craziness on vacation, the next evening Caden tells me her face is chapped and she needs lotion. I’m all “I SELL SKINCARE I’VE GOT MOISTURIZERS COVERED!” I get out the Active Hydration Serum and as I’m putting it on I realize this is no chapped skin, she’s got a major rash all over her cheeks and chin. Sonofa$!@#

We look at it under the flashlight and my mom decides we need hydrocortisone. I packed our entire first aid kit since I just knew this would happen. We start peppering Caden with questions to figure out how this reaction happened. Shrimp? Remote controlled cars? Pool? Then, Delaney starts telling me her face hurts and wouldn’t you know, she has a rash on her face too! Luckily, the hydrocortisone works for her too.

Sunday afternoon we swim again. As we’re gathering our drinks for happy hour, Caden tells me her face hurts. Rash AGAIN. Are you kidding me?? More hydrocortisone, a facebook post for help, and a lot of googling. In the middle of all of this, Delaney walks over to me and from the look on her face I know the rash is starting on her face too. Yep. I can see red bumps on her cheeks. More hydrocortisone.

Best guess is some sort of strep throat, amoxicillin, chlorine, sunscreen reaction rash? We have decided collectively to not swim today to see if the pool is the cause. The rash isn’t bad enough to drag them to urgent care, and it’s not even bad enough that we will skip swimming if the pool is the cause, but honestly, I did not need this on vacation.

PS – Arizona is wonderful. Last year the girls discovered their love of bocce ball, this year it’s pickle ball.

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It gets SO much better

I remember being pregnant and chatting with other moms at a party. I made a comment about wanting to skip the baby/toddler stage and just skipping ahead to age five. I mean, what did you really do with babies anyway? All they do is cry, so boring. And then I had the girls and you realize babies are super fun! Newborn twins were certainly a lot of work, but I actually have fond memories of that era. Toddlers though, whoa. Cute and learning new things every day! They say the funniest things!

At every age you think – this is the BEST age yet! And somehow, the next year it gets even better.

I remember around age five or six thinking that the older ages must be kind of boring? What’s fun about 9 and 10? And yet you guys, I could not love my children more right now. It is all just so fun. They get my humor! They’re sarcastic right back! We can joke around and they don’t immediately cry because they think I’m laughing at them! We have actual conversations! We have fun together. The board games they want to play are actually fun! They’re independent enough to be able to cook a meal for themselves. They can decide if they want to wear their snow boots or leave them home. I’m not making decisions x 3 24/7 anymore.

I have a feeling this age, before we hit puberty and the tweens, is a little like when a baby is 6-9 months old and hasn’t started crawling yet. Trouble is just around the corner, but it’s not here yet.

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Clean House

I’ve struggled with keeping the house picked up. I know a lot of people embrace the messy house thing when they have kids, but a messy house just makes me anxious. In our old house, we had a house cleaner who came every week. He spent two hours cleaning the floors, kitchen, and bathroom, and picked up and organized everything for us. It was amazing. When we moved to the new house it was an expense I had to drop.

The girls are tiny tornadoes. They create messes and then walk away from them without a second thought. It’s been a struggle to keep things picked up and get everything cleaned every weekend with everything else going on. But lately, I’ve been making a really conscious effort to keep things clean.

I feel like keeping your house clean is kind of like losing weight, there’s no secret as to how you do it, it’s the consistency of doing it that everyone falls down on. I know I should just pick it up and put it away RIGHT NOW. Don’t walk past it, don’t think you’ll do that later, don’t think you don’t have the energy for it, just do it. In theory, yes, in practice, not always.

Dishes are also my kryptonite. I always think I don’t have time to do them, even though in reality they don’t take that long. I’ve been making an effort to do the breakfast dishes before we leave so that I don’t come home to that mess. Some days it happens, some days it doesn’t.

You know what has been the best thing in helping me keep the house clean? Entertaining! I’ve had people over twice lately and obviously cleaned the house beforehand, and then after the house just seems to stay cleaner since it’s already clean. It’s magical, and is a good reason to keep having people over.

Who else has cleaning hacks? My coworker always has a sink full of soapy water as she cooks so that she does dishes and cleans up right away. If I’m cooking a bigger meal I’m awesome at clean as you go, but if it’s something simple I suck at it, so I’ve been trying to use that trick when I remember.


Tiny Bits

* Parent/teacher conferences were last week and they were really enlightening. I’m always happy when the teacher brings up the social side of things, since that is an important side of school for us. Both are doing well, and it’s always so interesting hearing their teachers describe them. Delaney shares a lot with her class. Her teacher knew all about our dogs and the horses. Caden doesn’t share much at all which I thought was odd, but continues to be the kid who is a worker bee.

* As each year goes on there is more and more that I just don’t share on the blog. It’s hard because there are stories I want to tell, or things I need to work through, but I just can’t do it here. Both are very aware of their privacy. I discussed something with Caden’s teacher and she was very unhappy I did so. It’s always a fine line.

* On a lighter note, we had baked potatoes last night for dinner for the first time, and they were a hit! And so easy! The girls had crumbled bacon and cheese, I had marinara sauce with pepperoni. What other toppings should we try?

* Midge is kind of off crate restriction? She is to get more freedom and exercise, but in a controlled manner. Unfortunately for her, she keeps trying to get into a fight with Annabelle, so she is forced into her crate unless someone can supervise. Little Miss needs a forever home! (Which of my California friends would like to adopt her? She is not made for Minnesota winters.)

* We are going to see Thor 3 this weekend and I’m so excited!!

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Too Much

With riding and Halloween and me enthusiastically signing us up for every Halloween party out there, it was something of a perfect storm and we had something every day for like seven days straight? And I realize that for a lot of people, that’s their normal life, but we don’t do well with that.

I’m an introvert, which often surprises people since I’m chatty, but I always say I’m a social introvert. In case it needs to be said, not all introverts are built the same. I love and crave being social, but it can be exhausting. I’ve also come to realize that when I don’t know most of the people or it’s crowded and noisy, I’m going to need extra time to recharge. My kids are the same way. They regularly talk about needing down time and wanting to protect nights and weekends and not sign up for too many activities.

So all of that is a long winded way of saying that by the time we made it to this weekend, I knew we needed a whole lot of nothing. The girls were off school Friday so they effectively got a three day weekend. We hit Target and the library, but otherwise just chilled. I laughed when I tucked Delaney into bed last night because she skipped reading since she had read so much during the day.

Since we aren’t used to weekends like this, we need a list of activities the girls can do at home. When they aren’t presented with an agenda, their default is to ask for screen time or to watch tv. When I said those options were out it was “Well then what am I supposed to do?” We played a board game and both girls read a ton, but I know last winter they were both able to keep themselves from being bored, we just need to find those activities again.

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Living Simply

I try to live as simply as we can. That doesn’t mean living in a log cabin with no running water or electricity. For me, that means living with what we need, eliminating clutter, and keeping decision fatigue as low as possible. Decision fatigue! It’s real, and it’s one of those things that I think of often.

We shop at Trader Joe’s for a few different reasons. First, I can be in and out of that store in 15 minutes. It’s small, I know the layout, and when I’m looking for something I don’t have to try to decide which of the 15 brands I should buy. I love that. The big huge grocery stores honestly stress me out. It’s overwhelming and so time consuming shopping there. No thank you.

Breakfast. Monday, Wednesday, Friday I eat oatmeal. Tuesday and Thursday I eat eggs over sauteed spinach with sausages. Every week it’s the same routine. I kind of hate the weekends because I have to think and figure out what I want!

I’ve culled my wardrobe as much as possible to just what I wear. Even still, as I transition to winter I’ll pull more stuff out. The less I have to choose from, the better. If I thought I could do a “work uniform” without going a little bonkers I would totally do it!

With Rodan + Fields my skincare is set. No longer am I scanning the skincare aisle trying to figure out what to buy, only to hate it when I get home. I love the products, and I love their auto ship.

A few weeks ago I read this blog post on Young House Love. As I read it I connected so deeply with it. She doesn’t just list the household stuff they use right now, these are their products. When they go to Target they don’t peruse all the cleaners, they know exactly what they’re using. Genius!!

I currently struggle with cleaning and hair products. I’m all over the place. I like to go natural, and I try to do my research but when I get to Target and start looking at everything my eyes glaze over and I don’t know what to choose.

I don’t use much for hair products, and the girls just use shampoo and conditioner so you’d think this would be easy. I looked in their shower the other day and they had five different bottles of shampoo. What the what? So I combined them into one and they’re working through that. After that, I’m ordering the pump bottles that YHL recommended. They’re big, they’ll last forever, and it’s a brand we use. I also found a big pump bottle of body wash that is a natural brand and that should also last a while.

For cleaning I ditched everything and bought some Norwex cleaning cloths and the Mrs. Meyers concentrated cleaner. Done and done. So simple, and fewer chemicals.

If you find yourself struggling in this area as well and want to streamline your products, I highly recommend using Amazon’s Subscribe and Save service. I have our laundry detergent, my vitamins, toilet paper, deodorant, and a few other random items on that service. I don’t have to think about when to grab more, and it’s delivered exactly when I need it.

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Long Weekend

The girls loved their Minecraft camp! I thought they would be coding Minecraft mods, but it was all stuff in Minecraft. They learned how to do some cool new things, and did some group building. They made a coliseum and did lots of teleporting. We will definitely look into doing another one of these possibly over the holiday break.

Friday! Ever since we had crepes in New York, Delaney is kind of obsessed with them. She has perfected making them at home, and always wants to order them when we’re out. I had read a review of a coffee shop in downtown Minneapolis that did crepes, so we checked them out Friday morning. The coffee shop is in the first floor of an office building and the space was super cool. There is an outdoor area that looked awesome, and the inside reminded me of a restaurant we ate in in Chicago. Their menu was limited, but there was something for everyone. Delaney was very happy with her cinnamon and sugar crepe, Caden got french toast and I had oatmeal and a gorgeous latte. Overall, an A+ outing. We will be back.

After breakfast we headed over to walk some of the dogs that have been in boarding for a while. These dogs are dog aggressive, so they need to be the only dog in the home. It can be hard to find fosters that don’t have any other dogs, so they stay in boarding long term. All three dogs were awesome, but I felt bad because you could tell they just wanted a comfy couch to crash on.

Saturday was piano lessons, wedding dress shopping with my cousin, and my grandpa’s birthday dinner. It was a family filled day and was just what we needed since my parents will head to Arizona next week already!

Sunday was super lazy in the morning, then super productive since I hadn’t gotten anything done. Yikes! The girls had a two hour softball clinic which allowed me to get some things done, but the lawn is mowed, the flowers were dumped, and the house is clean. I really need to figure out how to store all of my Rodan + Field’s stuff so it isn’t in my dining room forever. I need a bin, but they are on the top shelf in the garage and by the end of the day I was too lazy to move things to get one. Tonight maybe?

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Two Weeks In

It’s been two weeks since I’ve started my Rodan + Fields journey so I thought I would update with my thoughts and impressions. Full disclosure, this will not be a regular thing.

I’ve been at my day job for over 17 years now. That’s a long time at one place. Starting this business was like starting a new job, without having to leave my old job. New processes to learn, new lingo to learn, and a whole new industry to learn. Without a doubt the thing that has surprised me the most is how thirsty I am to learn all this new information. Every night I’m digging into the product info to learn more so I can better advise my customers. I’m reading books on network marketing, trying to figure out how to do this in a way that feels genuine to me. I’m watching videos and reading blog posts by people who have been crazy successful. It’s been so FUN. I absolutely didn’t expect this, but I’m loving it! It’s also been fun to think about events and Facebook posts and think strategically about how I want to run this business. Like I said, I’m absolutely loving this aspect of it.

The week after I joined was Rodan + Field’s annual convention. Such perfect timing. I was able to get virtual access to the talks and watch from my computer. It was such great information! And it was so great to see just how supportive everyone is of each other. In this business, you are only successful if your team is successful. For me, that is so powerful. At my day job I build and manage teams, so to think about how I can carry that over to here has been exciting.

They also talked about how need to be genuine and authentic when you talk to people about the business or the products, and that you really need to focus on them and not yourself. This was good to hear since that is easily the thing that I am most nervous about. I’m still very much a work in progress on that front so if I pitch the business to you and you say no, please know I will not be offended. More than anything I need practice!

At first I was thinking this would be a little side income. A little extra for horseback riding, a little extra for travel. But after watching convention and realizing there are people out there making five, six, and seven figures a month doing this, I readjusted my expectations. Maybe this could be more than a little extra on the side? Long term goal, I’d love to make enough to quit my day job. How amazing would it be to be able to decide how to spend my time every day? To focus more on the dog rescue work that I love, or quality time with the kids? But let’s be realistic, first, I’m risk averse, so it would take a lot of banked money for me to quit my job. Second, most don’t make that kind of money. But! I’m definitely going all in with this to see what I can do.

Here’s my shameless plug. I really do love this company and their products. It’s a great time to become a part of our team since they are also offering some amazing incentives for new consultants. Do you know anyone that would be a good fit? For the business or the products? I’ve love to talk to them!

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