The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Changing it up

The basement has never felt right to us, we spend very little time there. So this weekend we are making some changes!

Yesterday we ripped up the carpet. 

And painted. I’m a big fan of warm, cozy colors in basements. This is Mega Greige and I love it already!

Today we start laying the new laminate wood floor. I’m so excited!

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Softball season officially started last night! I’m super excited for this season.

We did not do a hitting clinic this winter, so we really hadn’t done anything all winter. Our softball association held open gyms, but we were never able to make it to one of them. On Sunday I finally pulled out their gloves to play catch with them and I was pleasantly surprised! Their throws were almost immediately solid and accurate. I’m continuously amazed at the different a year makes at this age.

Practice last night went really well. We have a great group of kids, and I’m working with some new coaches that I’m excited about. We only hit off a tee, but Caden absolutely killed it. Her swing has always been solid, so it was nice that she didn’t lose anything over the winter. Delaney did well too, although I think she’ll do better with the pitching machine.

We need a new bat, although I’m still debating which size to get. They also need bat bags and again, I’m debating on the backpack versus the other style. The last time we were at Dick’s I swear they didn’t have a great selection, but we need to head back and make some choices.

Other than that, we’re ready! The vibe already feels different this season. I can’t wait!

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Anyone else out there watching The Zoo? We love watching vet shows on Animal Planet and Nat Geo Wild. Anytime a new show comes on, we always dvr it to at least check it out. We’ve loved The Zoo! It has been so cool seeing all of the behind the scenes things that happen at a zoo. It’s also been interesting hearing about their conservation efforts. We will definitely be going when we’re in New York in June.

When I was younger I wanted to be a ballet dancer or a marine biologist, but I didn’t think either of those careers were feasible. I love that my girls watch all of these different shows and they can see all of these different careers that they could have. Dog trainer, vet tech, veterinarian, zoo veterinarian, zoo keeper. Did you know there is someone who designs the zoo habitats and paints the murals? What a cool job!

It may look like we’re a teeny bit animal focused right now, but we also talk a lot about NASA and scientists and astronauts and robots and the people who make all of that happen. We went to Hidden Figures. We’ve watched the Oscars and talked about how someone had to design the costumes and sets for Fantastic Beasts. We watch Face Off and Cosplay Melee.

I think when it comes to their careers, it’s wide open, and I love that.

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Saturday was supposed to be sunny and beautiful, so my mom came up and we were going to do yard work and bask in the sunshine. Except it was cloudy, and not that warm. We watched the girls ballet class, ran a few errands, and still did the yardwork. By the time dinner rolled around the sun was peeking out and it had warmed up enough to pull the table out of the garage and eat outside. Note to my mother – we forgot the cushions for the chairs! That’s why everything felt off.

I’ve realized that it makes a huge difference doing things on the weekends with another adult. I didn’t do that enough this winter. I need to figure out something for next winter, because even though I’m an introvert and love my time at home on the weekends, I need some social time.

Sunday! Was beautiful! It was supposed to be cold and rainy, but I think everything went south of us? It was warm enough for us to walk to church, scooter outside, and take the dogs for walk. It sprinkled a few times, but overall was a gorgeous day.

Our big Sunday activity was fondue! A month or so ago, Caden found a book series that she liked. It’s about Pegasus, and honestly after reading the back of the book I did not think it was something that would hold her interest but she loved it. She reads mostly graphic novels, and I’m always trying to get her to branch out, so I was very excited she liked these bigger books. She was very proud of herself for reading books with 30+ chapters. There were six books in the series, and since Delaney got Benihana when she finished Harry Potter, Caden wanted a fun dinner when she finished this series. We talked through a lot of options, but ultimately she wanted to fondue. She even asked to do it Sunday afternoon so we weren’t rushed. Best idea ever! We ate about 3:00, everything was cleaned up by 4:00 and we all had the rest of the day to do whatever.  I may do this every Sunday!

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Last week we had their 9 year well check. I’m came prepped this time around, there was no way I was going to be shamed like last year. When in doubt? Lie. Do my kids eat a lot of vegetables? Yes they do! Although it wasn’t the interrogation it was last year, so I didn’t have to say much. It was after Midas’ eye appointment so perhaps I looked like someone who was not up for a fight?

60 lbs (34%) 53 inches (58%)

51 lbs (8%) 51 3/4 inches (39%)

They both gained 6 lbs in the last year, although Delaney grew 3 inches while Caden only grew 2 inches. We have never had a height gap like this! They wear different size pants and shirts, it’s definitely weird.

I was concerned about Caden’s lack of weight gain, since she’s been hovering around the 50 lb mark for six months, but she’s following her growth curve so it is what it is. She is definitely aware of the fact that she is smaller than a lot of people in her class. I think she’s both on the short end, and one of the lightest. We’ve talked a lot lately about how she was born smaller, and her body is different than everyone else’s. Some day I’m sure that will come in handy, but in third grade it can be rough.

The doctor said to start expecting more questions about their body and the changes that are coming. Woo. I’m guessing that will more be this summer, when they will be the youngest kids in their group rather than the oldest as they have been the last few years. The things that get discussed on the YMCA bus always shock me.

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Separate or Together

I have been a staunch advocate of separating the girls since they were three. It’s really helped them be more social, to be able to make friends beyond just their twin sister, and it gives them time apart during the day. Beyond even those reasons, it’s helped them have their own identity at school rather than just be labeled “the twins”.

And yet, we have issues. One teacher does something fun and special that the other sister misses out on. A friend is in one class but not the other.

A few weeks ago when I had parent/teacher conferences I threw out the idea of putting them in the same classroom to their teachers. Unfortunately, their teachers don’t really know the other twin, so it’s hard for them to have a solid opinion. One teacher thought it would be fine, the other teacher thought they might be too competitive.

This year the girls have at least one very good friend in their classroom. Last year they didn’t, and they both had a more difficult year. Even though I know they can make friends anywhere, I worry. I feel like fourth grade might be a rougher year, and having your sister in class might be a good thing.

We’ve talked about it a few times. Caden is very much for it, Delaney is against it. No decision has been made at this point. I feel like if they’re in separate classes we’ll be fine. There may be rough patches, but we know how to navigate that road. If they’re in the same classroom will it be nonstop tattling? Or will they be each other’s biggest cheerleaders?

Any opinions out there?


Staycation Day 1

So the five dog thing, plus work being busy, maybe pushed me right up to my edge. I’m pretty aware of my boundaries though, and crashed on the couch Wednesday night. The girls moved their lego village to their room to give me some quiet downtime. Thursday morning we all had breakfast, then the girls went to play more legos and I had a blissful hour of quiet time reading my book. It was exactly what I needed.

After lunch we headed to Grand Slam in Burnsville. It was very similar to where they had their birthday party, but with trampolines and batting cages. They also offered a much better (cheaper) pricing structure. We were excited to hit some balls!

Except we couldn’t. You needed to be in 5th grade to use the batting cages. The slowest one had pitches coming in at 45 mph. The girls were used to the 30-35 mph range, so this activity was definitely out. Instead we bought the laser tag package which meant the girls could play mini golf, laser tag, and bumper cars unlimited for three hours. Big Thrill Factory sells an unlimited package but it’s more expensive and it’s for the entire day. Maybe when kids are older? But at both places we only stayed for about two hours.

Mini golf is not my favorite, I’ll admit. Putting is my least favorite part of golf, so to do that over and over again? No thanks. But, this course was pirate themed and very cool. The holes were fun and just challenging enough, and we made it through with only a small amount of frustration.

I only got packages for the girls, and bought a single game of laser tag so I could play with them. IT WAS SO FUN. We played with a super fun group of people, no one took it seriously, and we had a blast. I immediately went and bought another ticket so we could play again. Our second game was a little different. We were in there with a bunch of boys that took it way more seriously. They would stand and hit you until your gun died and you had to recharge. I finally said to one of them “You’re not making this very fun”. Turnabout is fair play though, and Delaney ended up using their strategy against them by our base.

Overall, Big Thrill Factory was bigger, nicer, had better food options, and way more arcade games. But they are also more expensive. It’s likely worth it if you think you really will spend all day there. Grand Slam was cheaper, and the girls liked their laser tag setup better. It’s about 10 minutes farther away from us, but we would definitely go back!

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Every year I curse spring break a little bit more. We have yet to actually take a vacation during spring break, which means I’m trying to do some sort of work from home/keep my kids from going bonkers gymnastics. And of course, work always seems to be busy during this week.

Monday I told the girls that the tv was going off at 10:00am, and would stay off until 4:00pm. Sunday night Caden made a list of all of the things they could do during the day. The tv actually went off just after 9am, and the girls played legos, magnatiles, trouble, and every other game we had in the cupboard. It was a mess, but it was amazing! I love when they get stuff out they haven’t played with in forever. Makes me feel better for buying it for them.

Tuesday was similar, although by Tuesday the mess was starting to get to me. I wish I did better with messes, but they make me anxious. I don’t like not being able to walk through my living room. Plus, with the dogs, I hate all of the little lego pieces everywhere. Someone is going to eat one and then what? But, I let them play all day and they cleaned things up before piano lessons. It was gorgeous out so there was quite a bit of time outside with the dogs exploring. Everyone was exhausted by the end of the day!

I’m taking Thursday and Friday off, and while my initial plan was to stain the fence, I’ve instead decided we need to get out and about and do something fun. I think Thursday we’re going to try out the batting cages? And Friday maybe the Crayola Experience? It’s going to be sunny, but not warm so we aren’t opting for any outdoor activities just in case.

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Five Dogs

Huey is still here. I know, I said he was only temporary, but he wasn’t feeling better by Saturday morning so I took him into the vet. His teeth are awful and he has worms, so he is back at the vet today to get his teeth and nuts out. He’s a sweetie and fits into our pack fairly well, so he can definitely recuperate here.

I’ve been thinking lately about fostering and what my limit of dogs is, and why things seem to be going better now than they were last fall. I think there are two factors to success at our house – fitting in with our pack/routine and not peeing everywhere. When we fostered puppies they were so cute! And they were so funny! And they were adopted quickly! And those punks either peed everywhere (Barron the golden retriever) or had so much energy I was throwing balls at 10:00pm in the hopes of sleeping all night (Arthur).

On the flip side, Demi, Nevada, and Huey have all been great fosters for us. They have similar energy to our dogs – playful but love snuggling on the couch – and they are good about doing their business outside. Not having to constantly clean up messes lowers my stress level A LOT. The people who do well with puppies are better at potty training and I’ve realized that is not my strong suit.

Our one issue with Nev and Huey is bedtime. Demi slept in bed with me and our three, but she was smart enough to go to the far corner of the bed and not move. She respected everyone’s personal space very well. Nevada is not that socially aware. She could sleep with Caden, but she never stays in bed with her so she has to sleep in her crate. Once the lights are out and everything is calm she’s fine, but it’s those 20 minutes prior when Lark and Annie are trying to play and I’m trying to read where she knows she’s missing out and barks. I’ve tried keeping her out with us, but then she gets in someone’s way and that’s just more barking. She has an application in, so cross your fingers this works out. She’s SO ready for her forever family and her own bed to sleep in.

Huey has found his people and now he doesn’t want to be away from them. And by his people I mean me. The first few nights he happily slept with Caden, but now that he’s feeling better he wants to be with me. The last two nights Delaney slept in my bed with our three dogs, and I slept in the guest bedroom with Huey. I figure he slept by himself in a wire crate for seven years, I can spend a few nights snuggling him.

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This is Huey. He’s a 7-year-old rat terrier and he was not handling being in boarding very well, so he’s hanging at our house for now. I’ve definitely realized that rat terriers with sad eyes are my cryptonite! We only have him until Sunday though, so it’s a short term thing.

When he got to our house he was clearly not feeling well. His tummy was gurgling and in distress. He’s been awesome about either going outside or in his crate though, so it hasn’t been an issue.

It’s hard not to compare him to Lark, especially since they look like twins at a distance. But, he clearly didn’t have the physical abuse that she had. He doesn’t mind being picked up, crashed out on my lap the second night, and is generally much more trusting of humans than she is. His body is in rough shape, but good food and time will hopefully heal that.

With Trump in office, I’ve definitely needed an outlet where I feel like I’m doing some good in this world, and the rescue dogs have been that for me. I’m more active behind the scenes with the rescue, and it’s been so rewarding watching Demi, Nevada, and now Huey become the dogs they were meant to be, and hopefully find forever families. I give money to various organizations, but having a cause where it’s more than just writing a check has been healing for my soul.

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