The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Get out of the house

I’m a homebody, especially in the winter. But my kids aren’t. They’re very social and they love to get out. I’ve come to realize that hitting Target or getting groceries doesn’t really count as an outing to them, and that our weekends run much better if we do get out of the house.

As we were hanging out Saturday evening I realized we needed to plan an outing for Sunday. It wasn’t going to be very nice, but there had to be fun things we could do. We googled a bit and finally decided to go to the Como Zoo. Of the two local zoo’s it’s the cheaper zoo, the smaller zoo, and the closest. We’ve been there a few times so I knew it wouldn’t be a ton of outdoor walking. It also has a conservatory with plants and flowers that we had never explored.

The girls were beyond excited all morning. We ate lunch at home and then headed out. The entire drive over they were bouncing in their seats, I knew this was a good decision.

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Since we were warm from the drive over, we decided to head outside first. It was cool, but not cold, and at least it wasn’t windy. A few of the animals were off exhibit or indoors, but the crowds were considerably smaller than any other time we’ve been which was nice.

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The giraffes were my absolute favorite. The outside enclosures at this zoo are small as well, but with the animals inside you were so close to them! We hung out here for probably 10 minutes, just watching them walk around and eat. They are so graceful, and they were feeling playful, so it was fun.

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Oh man, this guy. Going to the zoo is hard because you know these animals aren’t in their natural habitat. And yes it’s cool that we get to see them up close and personal, but they are also confined to such small areas. I feel bad for most of them, which is hard. This guy came over to the glass and hung out with us. One of the other orangutans came over and looked like he was playing with him, but it quickly became apparent he wasn’t playing, he was being mean. I get the feeling this guy is the odd man out. Bullying is everywhere isn’t it?

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After the monkey habitat we headed inside. Plants are cool, but also kind of boring so we hustled along those paths until we found the flowers. There were a lot of people wandering the pathways, most of whom had big cameras with them. I did not! So we made do with my iPhone. This is Delaney art directing my shot. “Did you get the flowers?” YES!

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Carolina Kids

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I’m exhausted from our day of flying so a more thorough post will have to wait, but here’s a fairly indicative picture of how awesome our trip to North Carolina to visit Laura and crew went. Check out those smiles! The kids had an amazing time. And note to my parents, we’re not moving, although I did fall in love with North Carolina.

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Gale Woods Farm Adventure

A trip to Gale Woods Farm has been on my Adventure list for years. I had hoped to get in some pool time this past weekend, but with the cooler weather, we needed a different plan – The Farm! Our friends that live nearby were available as well, so it was perfect timing.

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The kids get to help out, as well as explore on Saturday mornings. First up, feed and water the cows! I love that they put the kids to work.

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How adorable are these cows? They were very sweet and friendly.

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I could have taken pictures all day. It was the perfect setting. Big blue sky, gorgeous green trees on the horizon, and lots of wide open space. It was also the perfect place for four 5-year-olds to run and get dirty.

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We watched the cow milking demonstration, and then went into the chicken coops to collect the eggs. I’m pretty sure the volunteer planted the eggs just before we got there, because they kept reappearing. The kids didn’t care though! If you wanted to pet or pick up a chicken, Delaney was the girl to go to. The other kids couldn’t get the hang of it, but she just went up to each chicken and calmly picked them up. Even the volunteer commented “Your daughter has quite the way with chickens.” She’s a chicken whisperer. We washed hands after this.

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I don’t have any pictures of the vegetable garden, mostly because I was in complete awe of their plants. It puts my poor garden to shame! Caden and I decided that next year is our year. We just have to figure out how to get rid of the weeds and get the soil better.

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They do some week long camps that are supposed to be very good, but you need to be a little older to do them. Before then, we will definitely be back, we all loved this adventure.

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Minnehaha Falls

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Despite my best efforts, we have not gone on any adventures this summer. It’s been a mix of things keeping us from exploring – rainy weekends, pool time, lake time, family time. I’ll be honest, more than anything I realized we are largely a family of routine, with occasional sprinkles of spontaneity. And I’m okay with that.

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Sunday we were supposed to go to the lake, but the weather was iffy so my parents cancelled. A free day! With all the rain we’ve had recently, I had heard Minnehaha Falls was crazy. Let’s go! We headed out around lunchtime in the hopes of eating at Sea Salt, but I can’t eat anything on their menu (everything is fried), so we ditched that idea and found a neighborhood cafe instead. It was so fun! Totally different than where we usually eat (please see family of routine) plus they had gluten free cookies and ice cream!

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A lot of other people had the same idea we did, so parking was a bit of a nightmare, but we finally found a spot and headed out to hike the Falls. Hikers we are not, but we did wander the paths quite a bit, stopping to stick our feet in the water and rest a bit here and there.

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Delaney was very enthusiastic about the hiking and really wanted to go far! I probably should have realized earlier that Caden and I were melting, but once you head down the trail you kind of have to come back, so we just toughed it out.

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After taking this picture I probably should have realized Caden was done, but we pressed on. Finally I called it and we headed back towards the Falls. Caden kept saying “I don’t feel good” and unfortunately, I knew exactly what she was talking about. Heat + sun = melting Krohn girls. We stopped for drinks and then headed back to the truck. Caden and I were more than ready to go home and find the air conditioning, but Delaney was so mad we were leaving. She kept saying “I wish we could stay for more than two hours!” I was like “What else do you think you’re going to do? We’re exhausted!” I think sometimes she just wants to be contrary.

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Locals – Please help!

We hibernated most of the winter. Once the holidays passed our weekends consisted of dance, groceries, cleaning, and church. Ugh. I hate getting out in the snow and dealing with coats and hats and everything else, so I opt to stay in. Plus, there just isn’t as much to do in the winter when you hate the snow like I do.

Since the girls were born I’ve wanted to show them this city. In the beginning I had this fantasy of taking them to a different neighborhood each weekend and exploring and having lunch. But seriously, like that would work with 2 & 3 year-olds! But, now that they’re older I think we can absolutely do this. Plus, after our hibernation, we are all ready to get out and do fun things!

I do better with a plan, so I’d like to make a list of the things we want to do/see this summer. Here’s what I have so far. Locals! Chime in please! Also, if there is an outing you want to join us on, please let me know! The more the merrier.

We’ll be documenting these on our Adventures page.

Gale Woods Farm
St. Anthony Main
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Lake Harriet Streetcar Ride
Maynard’s on Lake Minnetonka
Shady Oak Beach
Valleyfair
Arboretum
Minnehaha Falls/Sea Salt

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Fall Adventure

This weekend was jam packed! For the first time in a long time, the girls legitimately needed naps both days. Not that they got decent naps in, but you know.

Saturday my mom joined us for dance class. The girls were a little distracted with both of us there, but it’s just so fun to watch them. We hit Target, then had lunch, frozen yogurt and then headed downtown for the reason my mom came up – a little adventure by the river.

My mom had never explored St. Anthony Main, so we rectified that. It had been a long day already so we didn’t stay for long, but we did walk a bit, wandered around Nicollet Island, and took some pictures. Unfortunately, it was chilly so the girls were in not cute jackets and hats. Everything was dirty, they looked a bit like hobos. Oh well! Real life!

The river! Even though it was chilly, there were so many people out and about. Families doing photo shoots, a bunch of people doing some urban race, and of course a few weddings.

A family was taking this same shot just before us. As soon as they moved away, my mom hustled my girls in. Given the gorgeous scenery, I wish I had taken hats and coats off but oh well. I’ve vaguely thought of going back to try to get a Christmas card shot, but at least I have this as a back up.

She loves her hats! And loved holding my hand (forced her to, she got way too close to the edge of the path). Caden and I have definitely found our photography groove this fall. I love it!

I like faces in my pictures. I want to see them, see their expression. But I’m trying to stretch and tell more of a story and this definitely does that for me. I love this picture of my mom and the girls walking down the path. Heads down, jackets on. Delaney so purposeful, Caden more reserved.

Out attempt at a peekaboo shot. Be gone ladder in the background!

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State Fair 2011

First, I bought a new lens! Eeep! I didn’t mean to, but I went to get a new cover because I lost my old one and then he asked me if there was anything else I needed, so I mentioned I wanted a 35mm lens and he had a 28mm lens for $250 and the next thing I knew I had handed my credit card over. I’d been debating returning it, but I used it at the Fair and ohmygod I’m in love with it. It’s exactly what I need for days like this. And it’s way cheaper than upgrading my camera body so why not?

So yes, the Fair. This year I’d done my research. I knew where the new food was and what I wanted to try, and I even downloaded the app. If you don’t have some sort of plan around food, you just end up eating pronto pups, french fries, and cheese curds and that is no fun at all. We were ready.

As we walked into the fair there was a dog agility thing going on. It was cool, but a lot of barking that early in the morning so instead we headed towards the coffee. Luckily, the coffee place also served mini cinnamon rolls and next door to that was the smoothie place. Perfection. After that my dad and I took the girls to watch some guys sing while my mother bought SIX bags of mini donuts. Because it was 3/$10 so why not get 6! The worst part of it is that we only brought home one little bag, so we ate most of them.

We knocked out the rides right away before things got too crowded. It’s so nice to know that the girls are going to enjoy the rides and not feel like each one is a crap shoot.

Caden enjoyed them a little more than Laney did.

They split up for one ride. Caden really wanted to do these spinny balloons and Laney wanted to ride the bumper boats. Luckily for Caden, Amanda is all in for the spinning.

One of my favorite exhibits is the Miracle of Life building. In it are a bunch of pregnant or just delivered animals. The babies are adorable and I feel for the pregnant mamas, especially the ones that give birth for an audience.

Photographic evidence of why I can’t bring myself to eat lamb. Unlike most other animals, they’re cute. Super cute.

After stopping for fried pickles and deep fried mashed potatoes (highly recommend, wow were they good), we headed for our last hurrah – The Giant Slide. We all volunteered to ride down with Laney, but she didn’t want to go down. Caden did though! Amanda rode with her. At the top the worker said “Are you ready?” and Caden said “YEAH!” No fear for Caden.

Seriously, this kid slays me.

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Twins game

The girls have been asking to go to a Twins game since April. My plan was to pick a night to work late, eat dinner at Pizza Luce, and then scalp cheap tickets right before game time. But, as we left daycare the girls decided they wanted to eat at the Twins game, not Luce. So we hit up a few ticket sellers, got one free ticket and bought two amazing seats behind home plate and headed over.

I’ll say this up front. Getting there an hour before game time was a blessing and a curse. It was nice to be able to navigate the stairs and the food stands when there weren’t many people around, but it also meant we had to kill an hour before the game started. We killed that hour by hitting the concession stands three times. First time – three italian sausages. My bad, too spicy for the girls. Second time – one hot dog, one pretzel. My bad, they both want their own hot dog! Third time – chicken tenders, gigantic hot dog. The woman at the top of the stairs was laughing at us by the end of it. In case you were wondering, those chicken tenders were tasty.
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Luckily for us the four seats next to us were open until the third inning. I figured we’d be okay with one on my lap, but it was nice to be able to spread out. The girls weren’t super interested in the game. Mostly, they wanted the girl to come out and sing the national anthem again so the fireworks would go off. At least with the good seats, we were close enough to the action that it kept them semi-engaged. We hoped for a fly ball to come our way, but no luck.
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Saturday

On the weekends that we’re home, our Saturdays consist of groceries, laundry, cleaning, nap, and dinner. I always want to get out and have adventures, but there are things to do and the day just slips away. But this week I had unfortunately done multiple loads of laundry so our sheets were washed, groceries were bought Wednesday night and the house was cleaned before the neighborhood get together. A free Saturday!

First, we hit the donut store. Normally we get donuts at the grocery store, these were SO much better. Must. go. back.
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Next up – storytime! Clifford the Big Red Dog was reading his books so we stopped in. Laney loved it, Caden wouldn’t look. After storytime we wandered the bookstore in search of a book for a baby shower. It took me forever to find the one I wanted. Meanwhile, the girls had an entire stack of books they wanted. I rarely buy the girls treats at Target, but I’m apparently incapable of telling them no in a bookstore.
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And then, the big stop of the day. Dance shoes! First to try on, tap shoes. I think Laney was exceedingly shocked to find out that tap shoes make noise.
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Teeny tiny ballet shoes.
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They each got one new leotard. I love the gymnastics leotards – so colorful! Caden loved this one but I didn’t love the price.
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Packing three people into a tiny dressing room and then trying on leotard after leotard was a bad idea. We were all more than done by the end.
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Rodeo!

Saturday we headed out to family day at the rodeo. I went to this rodeo a few years ago and loved it, and knew I absolutely wanted to bring the girls. Last year it didn’t work out due to our week long vacation, but that was probably for the best. I’m not sure the girls would have lasted four hours in the sun. This year though? We rocked it.

First up, pony rides. I talked these *up* all week long. But, I was still iffy on whether or not the girls would freak out. We stood patiently in line, and then suddenly the woman looked at me and said “This one riding?” I said yes and this was my next view of Caden.

She loved it! I was so happy. I love horses and I get that not everyone does, but it’s something I would eventually like to do more of with the girls.

Laney was next up on the horse. Once again, she was in the saddle and off before I could worry about her. It probably helped that the horses weren’t much taller than they were.

The pony rides were smiles all around.

After pony rides we ate a quick lunch and then did some shopping. Both girls got cowboy boots and hats. Delaney really, really wanted a belt, but they didn’t have any tiny belts so she was forced to make do with a chocolate malt instead. We headed to the hillside and found a spot.

There were Buckin’ Broncos (and when you say Buckin, say it like you would say the other word, because that’s how the announcer said it and all of us couldn’t stop saying it), steer wrestling (?), calf roping, barrel racing and bull riding.

We were sitting on a fairly steep hill, it was hot, and Caden kept backwashing into the water rendering it only hers. By the time intermission rolled around, this is how we were all feeling.

We moved up to higher ground and sat in the bleachers, but we also couldn’t see much from there. The girls wandered with Grampy and petted horses in lieu of sitting still, which just wasn’t going to happen. Next year we’ll bring chairs and get a prime spot at the top of the hill where it’s more level, but you can still see everything. I can’t wait to go back!

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