The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

And now there’s two

Here’s one for the you can’t make this shit up column. Early Wednesday morning Caden climbed into bed with me for the last hour of sleep. When Midas woke up he crawled across her face to get to me. In doing so, he scratched her eye lid (not her eye ball). Her eye hurt so throughout the day at school she rubbed it, with her germy hands. And gave herself pink eye. Not even joking. She woke up Thursday morning with one eye matted shut and the other gunky. Luckily at this age it’s easier to deal with and not as contagious as when they’re younger, so she won’t even miss school today.

While we were at Target picking up her prescription, we also picked up her glasses and got them fitted. We picked up Delaney’s pair too, which means I have two in glasses! Delaney has been wearing them around the house and I cannot get used to seeing her in glasses. It’s so weird. Target Optical has a much smaller selection of frames than our other place, but they’re covered by our eye insurance so Target it is! Both girls got Ray Ban frames. Caden’s are a deep purple, Delaney’s are red/grey. They both suit them perfectly.

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Birthday ride

We tried to do their birthday ride so my dad could ride with us, but the scheduling didn’t work out. I really wanted it to just be the three of us in the riding ring, so we had our lesson on Sunday afternoon. I had no idea how busy the barn is on Sundays! There were lessons before and after us! Lots of kids there riding.

Caden has been riding Ziggy consistently since late December. I have mixed feelings about this because they are such a good team together, and she rides very confidently with him. On the other hand, I don’t love how nervous she gets with any other horse. That said, another barn mom told me some years are confidence building years and some years are growth years. That put things in perspective. She’s in a confidence building year and Ziggy is integral to that. I love watching the two of them together. They are such a great team!

How awesome is this picture? So much love right here! Trueman, you are such a handsome boy. Trueman has a little sass to him, and tends to canter out of jumps. Delaney gets nervous when he does this, but always handles it well so I’m not sure why she gets nervous at all.

The girls wanted to do some bigger jumps which we did. Ahhh! They were so fun. And addicting! We all really had to learn how to handle them, so it was great that Hanna could give us quick feedback and then we could circle around and do the jump again. Riding is a lot like any other sport. There are so many things to think of – heels down, hands down, short reins, grab the mane. We all loved it!

Me and Lacy. This was my second time riding her and it was nice knowing what to expect and how I needed to direct her. I also found my rhythm a lot faster this time around. The first lesson it took me forever to remember how to post in a trot, this time I found my groove quickly.

Poor girl got spooked by something Ziggy did (I think his leg hit the wall?) and threw me off. We were trotting around the ring when all of the sudden she stutter stepped and twisted. I thought I was going to be able to stay on, but when I realized I wouldn’t be able to I got my boots out of the stirrups, arms up, and tried to fall backwards. Luckily, there’s about 8 inches of soft material in the barn so it was a fairly soft landing. Little bit of an adrenaline rush though! We walked a lap, then watched the girls do the cavaletti jump a few times. As we were standing there Lacy rubbed her head on my leg to apologize. It was the sweetest thing, she felt bad! I told her I could handle it and we got back out there. Oddly enough, she was awesome after this and we finished the lesson strong.

Better me getting thrown than my kids, but I know their time will come as well. If you haven’t been thrown, you haven’t been riding long enough right? If you know someone who jumps, you probably know someone who has been seriously hurt jumping. They wear helmets, their trainer makes sure they’re as safe as they can be, and yet it’s highly likely they’ll get thrown off a horse at some point. Injuries happen in every sport, we just try to be as safe as we can be in any given situation.

Back to the good, it was an awesome afternoon. The weather was gorgeous, the barn doors were open, and we had an awesome time riding together. I wish I could ride with them all the time, but it just isn’t feasible. Yet another reason to get our own barn and our own horses! (major wink emoji here, lol, oh god I don’t know we’d handle all of that although I so badly want to do it)

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More fever + Ballet

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This was Delaney on Friday. Sick again. She spiked a fever Thursday morning that continued until Friday night. I worried it would be the same five day fever as last time, but she took a long shower Friday evening and that seemed to help her turn the corner. She had no appetite and no energy though, so she’s slowly working her way back. Annie has loved all the illness in our house. So many people to snuggle with on the couch!

Saturday morning was parent observation day for their ballet class. Because Delaney’s fever was 103 Friday night, I decided not to have her do ballet since it might push her over the edge again. So, it’s just Caden! Their ballet school is around the corner from Trader Joe’s, so I usually grab groceries during class and don’t really watch them. It was fun (and nostalgic!) to watch them do their barre routines. The repetition, moves building on each other, I remember it fondly!

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Excited for class to start! She was right in front of me for their barre work, so I didn’t even have to be the obnoxious mom who was crawling all over the studio to get her shots!

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I was never good at getting my elbows rounded either.

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Tendu.

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This is their pirouette prep. I’d imagine in the next level up they would actually do the turn? Their teacher is very good, advancing their repertoire of moves while still working the foundational moves. I’ve really liked her and feel like the girls get something out of every class.

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Jete! She put two plates on the floor and the girls had to jump over them. All of the girls had so much fun with this one! I grabbed my 18-55mm lens for class, since I didn’t know how close the room would be and wanted to be able to get the shots. It worked fine, but definitely didn’t handle action very well. I took enough to get one decent jump though!

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The Big Jump!

This fall the girls did horseback riding lessons once a month. It wasn’t enough. They forgot everything in between, would lose their confidence, and it was not good. In January we started doing lessons twice a month and the difference has been huge! They are much better riders now. They are more confident, they handle their horses better, and every lesson gets better and better. Two weeks ago Delaney’s horse would canter out of jumps. Delaney hasn’t cantered much and is nervous about it, but she handled it like a champ! And grinned from ear to ear. Last night Caden did a high jump! Her horse wasn’t super excited to go over the jump, but she turned him around and made him try it until they went over. She was so proud of herself. Even better, all of the girls in her group lesson cheered her on, even the big girls who own their horses and are exceptional riders. She was so thrilled and so proud of herself.

Another mom was videotaping her daughter, so it made me pull my camera out and record Caden. This was a timed course, so they were trying to get through as quickly as they could. You’ll see her go over the logs, then she goes into the box where you have to turn your horse around, circle around and then do the jump. Of COURSE there’s a pole in the way but you get the gist of things. So proud of her!

** Delaney has another fever so she didn’t ride last night.

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I got my snow shots!

There’s nothing like a freezing cold day on a frozen lake with beautiful blue skies to get my photography mojo back.

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Horseback Riding

I’ve wanted to do a dude ranch vacation for years, but it’s never been the right time. Last year I started researching dude ranches in Arizona and there are so many! That may be a future vacation, but in the meantime, we decided to go for a two hour horseback ride to explore the Arizona landscape on four legs instead of two.

My dad found a ranch near Saguaro Lake and was able to go visit to see the horses and make sure things looked good. They had at least 50 horses, and were on federal land, although anyone can ride horse there. The scenery was amazing! The mountains on one side, Saguaro Lake on the other, and giant saguaro cacti everywhere.

I thought the girls might be bored just walking for two hours, and they were pretty quiet, but when we got off they were all smiles.

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Cast! Off!

Caden got her cast off today! Four weeks and four days after getting it on. Bummer for her four weeks landed on Thanksgiving, but she toughed it out.

Overall, she did amazing with the cast. She had a few days in the middle where she really got down about it. Luckily, our trip came at the end, so the last 10 days were away from school where she didn’t have to worry about all of the things she was missing out on. In Arizona she swam, she rode horse, and she did all of the things that Delaney did. It also made me very happy that this happened in the fall, because by the time we left her cast was starting to get stinky from the sweat.

Should you ever know someone with a cast, tell them to get a cast protector. One nurse told me to do a bag, one told me to use press and seal wrap, and the doctor said to get a cast protector. Ours came from Walgreens and I’m so glad he told me about them! She took baths, she took showers, she swam, and it kept her cast dry every time, even if she submerged it. Total life saver.


The cast removal was very quick. We were in and out in 20 minutes. First, they cut through the hard layers of the cast on both sides.


Then, they broke apart the cast. After that she took a scissors and cut through the cotton layers. Two quick x-rays and we were done! However, once the cast was off Caden was holding her wrist and arm in a really weird way, that made it look like it was still broken and wavy. That did not give me confidence. Also, the second x-ray still showed the break, and I thought for sure we were in for four more weeks of cast. Turns out, bone was growing, just on the other side of the break. Phew. I was very much prepared for the worst!


She has a brace that she’ll wear at school for the next three weeks. Her wrist is very sore right now. She practiced piano for 10 minutes and had to put the brace on after. I’m hoping once she starts using it she’ll gain strength quickly, but she seems very hesitant to use it right now. We shall see.

Happy birthday Dad!

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Home and Butterflies

We’re home! We flew back Friday night. Our flight wasn’t until 6:20pm which gave me plenty of time to pack, as well as go for one last walk and swim. Getting home Friday also gave us the weekend to unpack and Christmasfy our house. The tree is up, the house is decorated, and we have two bags of decorations that just don’t work in this house for Goodwill. We also made it to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them! LOVED IT. What an amazing movie. J.K. Rowling is an astounding storyteller. Delaney’s face was lit up through the whole movie. I was a little worried about Caden, but it was mostly loud. I kept telling her it was like the Avengers, and that seemed to help.

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Monday was supposed to be rainy, so we headed to the Butterfly Garden and aquarium. Both are relatively new, and were only 25 minutes away. The butterfly garden was very similar to the one at Como Zoo from this summer, but much much bigger and with a lot more butterflies. As soon as we walked in they started landing on Caden, me, and my mom.

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It was crazy! One of the big blue butterflies landed briefly in my hair. I tried to remain calm but it was a very bat in your hair kind of feeling. Luckily, he moved on quickly.

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We wandered all around the garden, but the butterflies wouldn’t land on Delaney. We finally realized it was likely her black t-shirt. Who knew? She was heartbroken, and having been through this before, I did not want to leave without her getting to experience this. We wandered away from the others, stood by the spots they were feeding, nothing. A few circled her, but she got nervous and flinched and they flew off. I went to find Caden and of course, that is when one landed on her! Luckily my parents were there and saw, as did she. That and a little food, and she was good to go for the day. (I was ready to lie at this point, she was so close to tears.)

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They loved my mom. She probably had 10 butterflies land on her.

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Unfortunately, these are the only photos I got at the aquarium. It was too dark! Even with my ISO bumped all the way up. The premise was that you followed a drop of water through the rivers (upstairs was all of the fish and animals you would find in rivers), and the main floor was the fish and animals from the ocean. Lots of great exhibits!

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Grand Canyon – Day 2

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Grand Canyon is about 4 hours away from where my parents live in Arizona. At the end of the first night we were debating whether or not you could drive up, see the canyon, then drive back all in the same day. You could do it, but it was really nice being able to see everything again in the different lighting. We all agreed that just one day wouldn’t be enough time there.

On Saturday we made dinner reservations at El Tovar, which is the nice hotel that has an excelelnt restaurant. 8:00pm was the earliest time they had, but after hiking for two hours, we knew no one would make it that late. We cancelled and went there for breakfast instead. It worked our perfectly. We got there early and were able to get a table by the windows with a view of the canyon. The food was amazing! Everyone loved their food. I would definitely recommend it! Also, all of the restaurants were super accommodating for the gluten free or vegan people. They had gluten free bread, muffins, bagels, and they were knowledgeable. It was really nice. One guy went completely out of his way to make sure I knew what my options were.

I really wanted to see a sunset and a sunrise. Unfortunately, the way the village is situated, it’s hard to see either. You have to hike out a ways one way or the other to have a clear view. We decided to just get up and see what we could see. While we couldn’t see the actual sunrise, the colors were spectacular.

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This looking glass was so cool. If you put it in the groove and lifted it up, it would zero in on a landmark. Each groove listed the landmark that you could see. We spent a solid 15 minutes here on Saturday looking through it, then another 15 minutes on Sunday. I loved the simplicity of it!

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After breakfast we hiked down the canyon a bit on the Bright Angel Trail. My dad tried, but he didn’t make it far. My mom went on a little further with us, then stopped and waited. The girls and I went a bit farther, and that was when Delaney started talking about wanting to go all the way down. You could see people farther down the trail, and she was really intrigued by the idea of spending the night at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Someday!

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I bought Delaney a $10 pair of binoculars on Saturday. On Sunday my mom bought another pair because no one wanted to listen to them fight over them.

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It was supposed to be really cold Sunday morning, but the cloud cover from Saturday kept it fairly warm. It was brisk when we first started hiking, but we all quickly shed our layers. I love this picture but why on earth didn’t I take my sweatshirt off!

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I took a few different shots of my parents for their Christmas card. I’m lobbying hard for this one.

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Everyone! My dad took a ton of pictures for other people, so we finally asked someone to get ours. Love this.

We drove through Sedona on the way home. The drive was beautiful, and we stopped in town to get a snack and wander around a bit. It started raining and with Caden’s cast, we had to get back to the car, otherwise I think we would have stayed for longer. There were a lot of cute restaurants and we wished we had timed it so that we were driving through closer to dinner time. We had hoped to get out and hike and take pictures of the red rocks, but the rain was really coming down with no signs of stopping, so we headed home.

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Cast on

Thursday was cast day! We were both very excited to get rid of the soft cast and get Caden into her real cast.


I’ve never broken a bone, so I had no idea how they put on a cast. First, they put her fingers in Chinese finger traps. I side eyed this contraption for about two seconds before I realized what it would do. It worked perfectly to keep her arm in the air at the angle they needed. The cotton went on first, all the way from her hand to above her elbow. Because she broke both bones, the cast needed to go above her elbow to protect against any rotation. Ugh. I was really hoping we would have more shirt options but no.

After the cotton they did a layer of the white cast stuff. I have no idea what it’s called, but they got it wet, wrapped it, then it hardened. Wednesday night Caden did a little research via Siri as to what her cast color options might be. Apparently some places did stripes? She was really hoping she could get stripes, but if she couldn’t, she wanted blue since that’s her favorite color. Once the blue strip went on they compressed her arm a bit. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think it had to do with keeping the bones aligned? Who knows. It hurt, so that sucked.

The PA had never done a stripe before, but realized they could do one fairly easily just by taking the pink and winding it around. she also offered to do a bracelet type design by doing a circle at her wrist and another at the top, but Caden wanted the diagonal stripe. It worked perfectly! She was super happy.

In the ER I was told eight weeks in the cast. At the beginning of the appointment the PA told me six weeks in the cast. I was excited about that except when we met with the doctor he said four weeks! Kids heal fast. After four weeks she’ll likely be in a removable cast for two more weeks. No idea what that will be like, but we’ll take it. We also swapped out our itchy/scratchy sling for one of theirs that is much cushier. She only needs to wear the sling when she needs it, and I’m guessing she’ll ditch it fairly soon. She tried holding a pencil today but couldn’t really grip it so I ordered some pencils off Amazon that should work better for her. Let the countdown begin!

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