The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Lego Robotics

Caden loves dresses. She wears them year round so we have a lot of them. With this week being Lego Robotics camp week, I suggested that she wear a dress every day since they wouldn’t be climbing or running or doing things like that. She loved the idea and immediately picked out five dresses and hung them on her closet door. And then she asked me to braid her hair every day! It was a fun week.

Monday. Simple black dress. I did a single braid down the back and she added in the headband. Perfect!
We missed Tuesday.

Wednesday. I love this LLR dress! It’s swingy and a gorgeous print and just perfect for her. She asked for a braid that went into a ponytail. Done!

Thursday. Another LLR dress! Same style as yesterday, just one size up. Love the stripes! We did pigtail braids which I adore on her.

Robotics camp! They loved it. Every day they had some task or obstacle they had to get their robot to do. The coding they do is similar to some of the coding I’ve seen on Tynker, where you assemble blocks of code by grabbing pieces of code. It sounds simple, but I looked at some of the routines they coded and it got complex! This is such a great introduction to coding for them, really getting them to think in steps and blocks. Next year I am definitely finding a real coding camp for them. I think they’re ready!

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Not our best effort

This week was definitely not our best effort. Delaney wasn’t feeling well on Monday, Caden didn’t feel well all week so I finally kept her home on Thursday. We missed the bus only one day, so that’s a bit of a win? But yeah, ready for the weekend.

Before we get to the pictures this week, last night was the 4th and 5th grade music concert! The music teacher always does an amazing job with the kids. Both girls had been singing a few of the songs at home, and were super excited. Unfortunately, since Caden was sick she missed, but Delaney did awesome. I was sitting next to a friend and we both commented that the difference between the 4th graders and 5th graders was super obvious. The 5th graders are so much bigger and looked so much more mature!

Tuesday. I’m always nervous about buying fashiony jackets like this, but Caden really seems to wear them!

Wednesday. This Lularoe shirt is a size 14 and I love it! Nice and long and cozy.

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San Diego Beach Photos

While I took my big camera out to San Diego, I didn’t use it a ton. It’s heavy, and lugging it around gets old quickly. But, I did take it to the zoo (pics coming tomorrow!) and I did bring it down to the ocean once for a beach walk. We were about two hours before sunset with these pictures. I thought I was just about in the golden hour, but I wish I would have looked at them a little closer and then gone back and taken more pictures just before sunset. I love these, but they’re a little bright, I’d love it if the light was a little more diffused. Oh well, they’re ocean pictures!

Sorry for the picture overload! I tried to narrow down a bit at least!

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Day 2 – Universal Studios

Day 2 in California was Universal Studios – Hollywood! To be fair, I probably wouldn’t have made the trip up to LA if the girls weren’t crazy Harry Potter fans. But they are, and since Florida isn’t on our vacay schedule any time soon, the only way they were going to see Harry Potter world was in California. Since it’s a decent drive and we wanted to get there when the park opened, we went on day two. Since we were still on central time, it was easy enough to get up at 5 and be out the door and on the road at 6:00am. The drive up was not bad! The drive back was another story.

We headed straight back to Hogwarts. I had done some research on the park but not a ton, so I didn’t have a great idea what to expect. I did know to buy the special wands at Ollivander’s, and to do the Forbidden Journey ride asap.

I upgraded to the Express passes and while it costs more, it was worth it. There aren’t a ton of rides, so the lines for all of them quickly climbed to 45+ minutes. You can use the Express pass once per ride. The only rides we did twice were Forbidden Journey and Despicable Me. We were able to use the Express pass when the line was long, and wait when the line was only 25 minutes. If you do use the Express Pass, make sure you announce yourself when you get to the lines. It’s easy to get swept into the regular line, or miss the person scanning passes. Overall, the pass probably saved us 3-4 hours of waiting time?

I realize this is an unpopular opinion, but none of us liked the Butterbeer. It had a weird aftertaste. We bought two, probably drank one and dumped one.

With the special wands, you would stand in front of a shop window and do a spell, and then something magical would happen. Sometimes a plant moved, sometimes a key turned, sometimes we couldn’t get anything to happen. But, they have people stationed at most of the things to help you figure it out. The girls loved this!

They did a really awesome job building the whole Harry Potter world.  Loved the buildings!

Also, I would like to say that Universal does a great job with their gluten free food. People were very knowledgeable, things were labeled, and when they weren’t sure if something was gluten free (the fries) they went and asked. I appreciated that, and my many options.

Our Express Passes also got us close to front row seating for the Animal Actors show! This was so much fun! We all really loved it. And did you know that most dogs in tv and movies are rescued from shelters? We decided Midas totally needs to be in the next Beverly Hills Chihuahua!

We left the park about 4:00. I naively thought we’d be a little ahead of traffic? Only to realize that there really isn’t rush hours, so much as traffic just gets worse as the day goes on. The trip up was 2 hours 15 minutes, the trip back was 3 hours 30 minutes. It was brutal. Bumper to bumper, barely moving for hours. Delaney really wanted to get back in time to do a beach walk, but there was just no way we were going to make it. We thought about pushing through and just getting home, but around Orange County we all got hungry. I saw a sign that said Oceanside 27 miles, so I told Caden to use my Find Me Gluten Free app to find us a restaurant in Oceanside that we could eat at.

Side note – this app NEVER lets me down. It always finds the best restaurants in whatever city we’re in. The reviews and information are always spot on, and I have a good idea going into a restaurant of what I’m going to be able to eat.

So anyway, she picks Ruby’s Diner because they serve breakfast all day and milkshakes and that sounded good to the two of them. The app gave us directions and as we pulled into town I realized the restaurant was in the ocean! Just kidding, it was out on a pier but we all laughed like crazy when we saw that on the map. How perfect?! It was just 7:00 and the sun was setting, so we had the perfect view. Dinner was good, and it was the break we needed after a long couple of hours in the car.

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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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Throwback Thursday – Labor Day edition

Throwing back to last weekend, does that count?

But first, a quick glasses story. Back in April the eye doctor told us to bring Caden back in before school started to have her eyes rechecked since they had changed so much in a year. We took her in the last week of August and eek! She couldn’t see very well with her glasses. They ordered new lenses for both her glasses and her sunglasses. We picked them up last night, the nice Target lady fitted them for her and then they said goodbye! And I was all “Don’t I have to pay you????” Nope! Free! Free eye exam and free lenses. Because something something within the time limit? The thing is, I have FSA dollars I’m trying to spend! (Caden said she could break her leg and I was all um, no?) When she put her glasses back on with the new lenses she said “Wow.” Poor kid. I do think she will be an eye exam every six months girl for a while.

Labor Day! We headed up to the lake Friday afternoon and totally did not beat traffic. We took some weird back roads but it didn’t help much. Oh well.

Saturday morning I was putting Midas’ eye drops in and realized his main eye med was on the last drop. Yikes! I called Target and they said they needed a written or transferred prescription in order to fill it, so we made a quick run into town and had the emergency vet see him. Luckily I get his eye med online and so had all of the info to make sure we got the right drops. Phew. I thought for sure it was going to be a huge shenanigan getting everything refilled but the vet saw us quickly and Target filled it quickly and we were back home in under an hour.

The events of the weekend are a teeny bit blurry. We headed out for a boat cruise Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, with the cooler weather the lake wasn’t very warm, but the girls jumped in and swam a little. We paddle boarded on Sunday I think? The girls learned checkers at the YMCA this summer so they played checkers and cribbage with my dad quite a bit. We fished one last time, had s’mores one last time, and made lots of hash browns and crepes for breakfast. It was a great end to our lake visits. Until next year!

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Fourth Grade!

Yesterday was the first day of fourth grade! So exciting. And yet also so anticlimactic. It’s all so old hat at this point, no one even gets nervous!

Both girls got teachers they are very excited about. They are separated from their close friends from last year, but both have realized that there is a girl in their class that they’re really excited about being closer friends with. That is a huge relief for me! Both girls do better when they have a solid friend in their classroom.

This year we were up and ready with plenty of time to take pictures. Yay! Last year we kind of screwed this part up so I was happy that we were able to not be rushed.

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Go jump in a lake

It got really hot on Wednesday, so we took the pontoon out for an evening cruise after dinner and headed towards a spot on the lake that we knew was over 20 feet deep. A perfect swimming hole. I’d already showered so I was out for swimming, but my dad jumped in with the girls. At first they swam with life jackets, but they’re strong swimmers so I let them take them off and they did jumps off the side of the boat. They had so much fun we did it again the next night!

We also took a ton of slo mo videos which I will not bore you with again here, but were so crazy fun to do. The girls were so happy and had so much fun jumping and doing cannon balls and just giggling in the lake, this was absolutely the highlight of the week for me.

Three stooges.

Annie knows who gives out the best snacks on the boat.

Check out that smile!

I should probably darken this up a bit and make it into more of a silhouette, but what can I tell you how happy I was when I looked at the back of my camera and saw this? I just kept snapping as the girls ran off the pontoon and jumped in, and I caught the sunlight just right here. Love. this.

This was Caden’s version of the Statue of Liberty.

Delaney doing a cannon ball.

It was also our annual “Put the dogs in their lifejackets and make them swim in the water so they know what to do if they go overboard” drill. Midas was THRILLED.

Lark sat on top of Midas for the rest of the cruise.

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Paddle Boarding v2017

Also known as, my parents bought another paddle board so all three of us could be out at the same time!

First things first, we’re back home. The girls had their end of year softball tournament on Saturday, so we headed back Friday night. It is incredibly difficult to be on vacation for a week, then have to be at the ball fields at 8:00am. Most of our girls were half asleep. But! They woke up for the second game and we won. We lost the next game and were out, but it was an amazing season. Couldn’t have asked for better kids or better coaches to play with. I had a blast this year, but will readily admit I’m a little nervous for 10U. It’s kid pitch and the rules change, and it’s going to be a whole new game.

Back to the lake! Tuesday we headed out on the paddle boards and good thing we did. Wednesday was HOT and the next two days were windy, so it was our only day out. We tried to paddle across the lake, but there were a lot of boats and jet skis pulling tubs and skiers, so I made us head back (You can see exactly how Caden felt about that in the third picture). The lake is very clear right now (zebra mussels apparently) and it’s WAY freaky to look down and be able to see the bottom, or at least very tall weeds. Caden headed in, then Laney and I paddled down the shoreline of the lake. Again, a little freaky to look down at the bottom of the lake, but also way cool since it wasn’t as deep. Had a great little chat with Delaney as we paddled too.

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Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

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