The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

I count on her

When people ask about the differences between the two girls I often say they are like two sides of a coin.

Caden falls asleep quickly at night. Delaney is often up as late as 10:30 or 11:00.

Caden sets(!) an alarm for the morning, so she has enough time to watch 30 minutes of cartoons before she needs to get dressed. Delaney sleeps until the last possible minute.

Caden is not an adventurous eater. Even with things like pancakes or cinnamon rolls, she only likes what she likes. Weird frosting? Different mix? She’s out. Delaney’s palate is ever expanding. She tries new things and rolls with different versions of things.

Caden is responsible and detail/time oriented. She’s always the first one ready to go in the morning and frequently reminds us that “We’re leaving in two minutes!” Delaney is easily distracted and always the last one out the door.

I’ve known for a while that Caden will be our family’s saving grace at some point. She will be the one holding it together for us when I’m run ragged and her sister is distracted. She already cooks for herself a fair amount, and does things around the house without me asking, but the moment that made me smile and think Yep, that’s it, finally came last week. Tuesday is the day they swim. It was only day two of YMCA and we were still getting used to the packing list. As we were pulling out of the driveway I asked “Do you have your lunch?” Yes. “Swimsuit?” Yes. Then Delaney said that she forgot to pack her swim goggles. Caden said very quietly “I packed them for you, I knew you’d forget.”

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New Routines

When we went up to the lake for the first time in May I thought “And now it’s summer!” When we went to the pool for the first time I thought “Well now it’s really summer”. But truly, when we got in the car and headed to the YMCA on Monday morning, that was the beginning of summer and lo, it has been brutal.

We got home from NYC last Wednesday. That night we had a YMCA parent meeting and a softball game and our schedule has not stopped since. Without a doubt, I should have taken last Thursday and Friday off, I would have been in much better shape. Instead we have been perpetually behind (and exhausted).

YMCA is an entirely different schedule for us. We make lunches and pack snacks the night before. The girls do most of this, but it still needs to be done. We get up earlier in the mornings so we can leave earlier, but I don’t actually get into work much earlier. It also takes much longer to pick them up and get back home, so our evening routines are off. Softball is either at 5:30 or 6:00. Those times were a push before, but this week I had to sit down and write out drive times to figure out when I needed to leave work. On top of all of that, I signed them up for a 7:45am riding lesson. I thought it would be great to get it out of the way early in the morning, but even though we get up super early, they don’t get to YMCA until 9:30am.

The house is a disaster. We didn’t have anything going on yesterday so we were able to get things cleaned up a bit, but at any given time there are 6 water bottles and four lunch/snack containers scattered around the kitchen. The girls have a birthday party tonight, so I’m hoping to get the lawn mowed and laundry put away while they’re gone. If I can get things back to mostly good, we’ll at least be set up for next week.

We’ll eventually figure out our routines, I know we will. But I hate this period of chaos.

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NYC Recap & What’s Next

When I told people I was taking the girls to New York a lot of people said “What are you going to do there?” I began to question it myself a bit, but I also knew that my girls would love the city and they did!

My biggest advice to anyone going to New York is not to stay in Times Square. It’s too crazy. There are hotels that are a few blocks away that are great, I highly recommend the W Union Square if you can swing it, otherwise do your research and find an airbnb apartment. Being in a neighborhood made a huge difference for our trip. The girls loved hanging out on the fire escape watching people walk their dogs, and it was so nice returning to somewhere quiet after a day walking around the city.

1. We never did pizza. I had scoped out a few pizza places that had gluten free pizza, but I figured we’d hit one of the slice places for lunch at some point. I’m not sure we even saw any? I didn’t even see a Ray’s Pizza! Maybe we were in the wrong areas, but I feel like New York has changed a lot in the last few years.

2. I need a new baseball hat and saw the perfect NYC hat on our walk to the boat. I didn’t stop because I figured we’d see it again but we never did!

3. Brooklyn. I really thought this would be the trip we’d finally make it to Brooklyn but nope. Next time.

4. The High Line. If we’d had better weather, we definitely would have hit the high line. Our apartment was just a few blocks from it and I think everyone would have loved it.

A few months ago I was talking with a coworker who just got back from Thailand. She was telling me how cheap everything was there so I started doing some research. Thailand is actually not a bad place to take kids. There are lots of beaches, and the food is kid friendly, but the girls weren’t necessarily on board. After some discussion, we decided to go to Paris for next year’s spring break. We were all excited and even started learning French! But, after this trip and all the walking, we discussed it again and agreed we wanted a beach vacation instead. So next year we’re headed to San Diego! It’s about time I bring the girls to my other home state of California. I found an ocean front condo in Solana Beach that we are all excited about. We can take walks along the beach, there’s a community pool we can use, and it’s centrally located between my friends and family in San Diego. I’m super excited and so are the girls.

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Tiny Bits

* Once we go into summer mode, we’re gone too much to foster a dog. It’s too difficult to bring them to the lake, and too difficult arranging temp fosters every weekend. And so, on Friday Huey went to his new foster home. I was so sad that we didn’t get to see him to his forever home. I had really hoped he would get adopted and we wouldn’t need to do this, but it just hasn’t happened yet. He’s with an amazing family with a big fenced in yard and kids for him to snuggle with, so I know he’s loving life right now, but I will miss my sweet boy.

* This week is going to be crazy and stressful. One day at a time.

* We leave for New York on Saturday and I cannot plan anything because the weather forecast changes hourly. Rain, rain go away!

* If anyone has dinner suggestions for nights when you have sports at 5:30 or 6:00 I’m all ears. For riding nights I always made bacon wrapped chicken or tacos ahead of time, so by the time the girls got home they could eat quickly and we could get on the road. But, I also worked from home those days. I keep thinking crockpot? But the crockpot and I aren’t always friends.

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Piano Recital 2017

Ballet was Saturday, piano was Sunday.

We had our ups and downs with piano as you do over nine months, but this spring both girls really hit their stride with piano. They found pieces they really enjoyed (I should say Marta found them pieces she knew they would enjoy playing) and practicing wasn’t such a chore anymore. Both girls ended up playing their pieces so much they memorized them. Delaney could play hers at just about any speed, preferably super fast. At one point Caden and I said “Enough! We don’t want to listen to it anymore!” Which is something you don’t necessarily expect to say but there you go.

They did not want me to video their individual pieces, but said I could tape their duets. The first duet did not go so well, so that can stay on my phone. This is their second duet. I love this song and even though playing together is really difficult for them to do, I hope they keep playing duets in the future.

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Tiny Bits

* I didn’t pack swimsuits for the girls because it was early May and I figured even though it was going to be 80 degrees out, the lake would be cold. Caden was so angry at me! The lake was really calm and she wanted to paddle board. After our boat ride my mom and I went inside to get dinner started and my dad snuck off with the girls and the paddle boards. They just paddle boarded in their rompers and since neither fell in, no one got wet. Caden was so proud of herself! She loves to prove me wrong.

* It’s like Nat Geo Wild at the lake. My mom has bird feeders everywhere and there are so many beautiful birds! We watched the Orioles swoop in and out on the back patio, and two hummingbirds came next to me on the front deck. It was crazy. Makes me want to do bird feeders at our house.

* It’s my birthday today! I share a birthday with a coworker (separated by only 20 years, which is awesome) so we decided to have a birthday donut breakfast at the new fancy donut place downtown. I’ve heard they have an oatmeal bar, cross your fingers on that one. For lunch, my other coworker is taking me out to a gluten free restaurant I’ve wanted to try for a long time. So excited!

* We’re supposed to have our first softball game tonight, but there is heavy rain forecasted. I can’t decide if I want the rain, or if I want to play.

* I need to write a post about how much I love age 9. Seriously, it’s the best so far.

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Weekend Activities

I saw an article on Facebook about a family that refuses to do any kid activities that fall on the weekends. My first reaction was – Right on! We have ballet on Saturdays at noon and while it gives us a whole morning at home to get things done, it also makes it difficult to do anything besides cleaning/errand running on Saturdays because of the lessons happening in the middle of the day.

But now softball has kicked in and our weeks are crazy. This week was piano lessons and softball practice on Tuesday, softball practice again on Wednesday, riding lessons on Thursday and the school carnival on Friday. Monday was our only free evening! Which reminds me again why I do choose to do dance lessons on the weekend.

I have waffled on this decision quite a few times, but we will not be continuing dance lessons next fall. I love ballet, the girls love ballet 95% of the time, but now that we are doing riding lessons more often, it’s too hard to fit in another activity. All things being equal, I would absolutely continue ballet lessons. Dance is good for the girls coordination, and I think it’s a great creative outlet for them. But lesson times for the younger girls are not at the best times, and financially, I don’t need another higher cost activity.

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Sleepy Kid

As far as sleep goes, the girls are very different. Caden turns her reading light out by 9:00pm at the very latest, usually before, and she falls asleep quickly. She’s up in the morning around 7:00am because she likes some time by herself to watch cartoons. Delaney generally doesn’t go to sleep until after 10:00pm. She usually reads late, but then doesn’t fall asleep quickly either. During the week I wake her up at 7:30am, but on the weekends she’s been known to sleep as late as 10:30. (Sunday I woke her at 10:00 because we were hungry and wanted to go to brunch.)

Saturday night the girls went to bed at 8:30 without any argument. I thought that was weird. Caden slept until 8:15 Sunday morning which must have thrown her off, because Sunday night she came out of her room at 10:00pm. I knew this didn’t bode well for her.

I finally went in and woke her up at 7:30 Monday morning. She was clearly still very tired and moaned and groaned for 30 minutes until it was time for breakfast. She told me multiple times she wanted to stay home so she could get more sleep, and when I said no she flopped on the table and said “I just can’t do this today!” Ha! Such drama! I told her to start counting down the minutes until she could go to bed again, like every mom does. She did not see the humor or logic in that.

When they got home from school I asked if her day gotten any better and she said “No! I had to run the mile today!” To top it all off, I made her eat meat! She’d already had meat for lunch! Why couldn’t she just have an egg?!

I offered up a 7:30 bedtime, but they both decided on 8:00 instead, with a hard lights out at 8:30. I would not bet on Delaney sticking to that though.

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May weather!

The meteorlogists keep forecasting lower temps than what we’re actually getting and it’s glorious! I do love May weekends. You’re so grateful for 70 weather and sunshine!

We had a weekend with that perfect balance of getting out and doing things, and having time at home. Or maybe it’s just that running errands in the sunshine and warmth is so much more fun than doing it in the snow? Saturday was another ballet/adoption event day. We also hit the rental house in the morning, which meant the girls got to head across the street and play with our old neighbors.

Slight tangent. I really miss our old neighborhood and how often we socialized with our neighbors. It is SO different when the people across the street have alleys, I never see them! But, I do love the people that live in our new neighborhood, so I’m making an effort to hang out with them more. On Sunday, the girls had a playdate with their friend a few doors down (that she set up, thanks Bridget!) and the mom and I talked about getting away and going for a walk together. I’m hoping that at least throwing stuff like that out there makes me follow through.

Sunday we hit up Dick’s Sporting Goods and Old Navy. You guys, bats are expensive. Yowza. I got real nervous when I saw those price tags! Luckily, we found some lower priced bats ($24.99 for the win!) that Delaney liked. Caden still uses our old bat, so we got lucky there. We also bought backpacks that will fit their bats, gloves, and helmet. They even have a spot for their cleats, and an insulated section! The girls are very excited. Delaney exchanged her swimsuit at Old Navy and they each found a romper they liked.

They went to their playdate and I took the dogs for a long walk. I took a chance and took them on some busier streets and Lark did so well! I only had to carry her three times. Every once in a while she just refused to move forward, so I carried her for a bit and then she was good to go. Who knows what goes through that dog’s head.

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Long Week

I thought I took at least one morning picture this week, but my camera says this picture is from April 28, so apparently not.

It’s been a long week. I had a work trip out to Los Angeles Tuesday/Wednesday. My work trips these days are generally just one nighters, which should be so easy, and yet they in general kind of wreck me. An early morning flight plus a super long day, plus 8 hours spent in an airplane make me want to curl up and sleep for days. The trip was fine and my parents handled everything supremely well, but travelling for work is still hard on everyone. (That said I hit all of my LA faves – Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, In & Out, and sushi. If I’m missing my kids, at least I can eat well and enjoy the sunshine.)

On top of that, our cable/wifi/phone/xfinity stuff all went out on Tuesday. I tried to troubleshoot from afar, but eventually connected my dad with Xfinity. We have had nothing but issues since we’ve moved into this house. Our cable constantly goes out, our wifi speeds are horrendous, and even after calling multiple times the problem seems to come back after a few months. The tech came out Thursday afternoon and determined that the splitters in the basement were causing the problems. Apparently our signal is super low, then it was being split, so it was no wonder we had problems. I’m hopeful that the amplifier he put in will fix things once and for all.

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