The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Butcher Jones trail

My girls aren’t the best hikers. The hike we went on last year ended with me piggy backing one then the other back to the car. Not so fun, so this year we headed out in the morning and chose a hike around a lake (Saguaro) that wasn’t very long. It was the perfect hike! We hiked out 20 minutes, stopping for water breaks along the way and some snacks, then turned around and hiked back. Delaney even saw a snake on the trail! The scenery was gorgeous, with the mountains in the background and the lake in front of us. Highly recommend this trail!

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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.

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Long Week

It’s been a long week, and this is the only picture I took. Everyone has been off, and while it’s easy to blame daylight savings time, I’m not sure that that’s it. I do think the colder weather is affecting everyone. We’re all tired, and no one feels awesome. The mornings have been tough, just getting everyone motivated and moving. I thought our chill weekend would help, but we’re all still in our funk. So this weekend is much more social and perhaps that will do it!

Unfortunately, I only have this one picture, but at least it’s a good one! I was trying to get Caden to do all of our old posing tricks – ninja kick, fashion pose – but now that they’re older, they get a little embarassed to do them, but I did catch her mid laugh.

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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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November

Two things. Halloween was exhausting. We went to our old neighborhood and the girls saw a ton of their friends and there was a lot of walking and running and we were all super tired that night and the next. I feel like today we are finally back to normal and the girls are not melting down. It feels good. Second, the bus driver is early to on time and since we run on time to late mornings are rushed. Three times now we have pulled up to the bus stop and the bus is already there. We are trying to get out the door earlier, but then I seem to forget to take a picture.

Last Friday? I keep forgetting to take the picture indoors so you get their fall gear.

Monday. It’s cold. Caden is not thrilled with it.

Tuesday. I try to select my white balance, but I forget to change it too often (like in this picture) and recovering that color adjustment can be difficult, so after this I decided to just go auto. But hey! There’s her blue hair.

Wednesday. Only Caden because Delaney was running late. Once Midge’s crate is gone from next to the windows I think we’ll be able to find a better picture spot. Too much window glare here.

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Halloween 2017

Yesterday afternoon I was in a bit of Halloween panic since it was going to be cold out. I was worried we’d freeze to death and that I’d want to head in way before the girls would want to, but it all worked out! We trick or treated with our old neighbors which was so fabulous and honestly, trick or treating is perfect for seeing everyone. We made it back in time to trick or treat our new neighborhood with our neighbors. One of the houses carved a ton of really cool pumpkins. I was so impressed! The carvings were really intricate and so well done. But by that time I was cold and so were the girls so we headed back.

Lots of pictures because I can’t choose. Also, two guesses as to who was cooperative and who wasn’t. Also, better pictures of Caden’s hair in the light!

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Mermaid

We dyed Caden’s hair blue! And I won’t even bury the lead, it turned out perfect!

A month or so ago Caden said she wanted blue hair. A lot of kids have crazy colored hair so I did a little research and bought some Manic Panic dye, no big deal. Since it is kind of a commitment, we bought some temporary spray stuff to try the color out. That stuff was gross, but at least she realized she liked the blue.

At one point I wanted to do it after school pictures were taken, but then I realized I didn’t care. Then we decided we should do it close to Halloween since it would look cool with her Hogwarts costume. We kept intending to do it, but forgetting, so finally last night we got it done.

I watched the How To video on their site, but it was really easy. I covered the floor with old towels and her with a garbage bag. I put some vaseline by her hairline, but since we were only doing the bottom half I wasn’t too worried.

You work the dye into the hair then leave it set for 30 minutes. Rinse and voila! Blue hair! We did Bad Boy Blue which was a royal blue color in the jar, but came out more teal in her hair. Luckily, everyone loves it! It’s supposed to last 4-6 weeks. I’m guessing it will last a little longer since she doesn’t wash her hair every day, but we shall see!

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