The Munchkins

Life with identical twins


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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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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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?


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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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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Tiny Bits

* Who else saw Beauty and the Beast this weekend? We LOVED it! My jaw dropped in several scenes, this movie was that beautiful. So well done! While the girls loved the end scene when everyone turned back into a human, my favorite scene was the pub scene where they sing Gaston’s song. The dancing, the singing, it was super fun. Emma Watson did a great job, but for me, Josh Gad stole every scene he was in.

* We’ve been home every weekend for a lot of weekends in a row and we’re all over it. Normally we break things up with a few trips to Mankato, which is good for everyone. Away from the cleaning and to do lists, it’s relaxing. But with my parents in Arizona this year, we’ve been home and while we are a routine loving family, we are ready for a change!

* I was a little over asking the girls to do their cleaning tasks over and over all weekend and maybe at times I expressed that I was angry I had to do this. Sunday evening I said to Delaney “Your ballet bag is still by the door and I’m a little angry about it.” She replied immediately with “You’ve been angry all weekend.” Parenting your mini me is HARD.

* We live on a quiet street that makes a nice loop with the street just down from us. It’s awesome for Lark because our walks are quiet. Except now that it’s nice out everyone is out walking. We run into other humans, dogs, kids riding bikes, and kids in strollers. Lark has actually handled it really well, but the look on Nevada’s face as she tried to hide in my legs when she saw the (little)kids on bikes was hilarious!

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