The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Played Too Hard


It was another lake weekend! My brother and sister-in-law were at a wedding, so my parents had my nieces this weekend. They headed up to the cabin on Thursday, and we headed up Saturday. It was hot out, so it was the perfect weekend to try out the swimming beach. We were a little worried it was too small, but they weren’t that many kids there, so it was fine. We had a bunch of floaty things, but agreed that a swimming raft or slide would be perfect.

lark

I’m still figuring out how to have all three dogs up there and not go crazy. Lark does best when she’s with me, so I decided to just have her with me as much as possible, which meant she needed a life jacket for the boat. I bought this one from Amazon and it worked perfectly. For reference, she is 8 lbs and is wearing the extra small. She wears a fleece sweatshirt most days, so wearing this was NBD.

We took the boat out Saturday afternoon and the kids jumped into the water to cool off, so I jumped in too and brought each of the dogs in with me one at a time. It was pretty cute. I was holding them the entire time so there was absolutely no risk of anything happening, but their eyes were pretty big. All three of them swam with their legs, but I’m not sure how far Annie or Midas would have gotten. Lark’s life jacket totally held her up, so she was good to go. I’m annoyed because I bought one for Annie last summer, but cannot find it. It’s somewhere in the garage, but exactly where is anyone’s guess. I need to find one for Midas. He’s so little, will there even be one that fits him? But, the dogs all love going for boat rides, so he needs something. Safety first!

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We’ve found that we have the best luck when fishing after dinner, just before sunset. We were having a little trouble finding the spot where they were hitting, but my dad had a little luck off the back of the boat so boom! The three kiddos hustled to the back to get their lines in. They didn’t have any luck in that spot, but eventually Delaney started hitting crappies with her new red fishing hook. I don’t know what it was about that hook, but my line was a foot away from hers and she was the one catching all the fish! Luckily, Emma had a red hook too and caught a few, which meant Caden needed a red hook immediately. At least we caught enough for lunch the next day.

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Happy Easter!

easter 1

I’m going to preface this with the fact that I am exhausted, so this post may be more pictures than words. Both girls were SO excited for the Easter Bunny to come to our house, that they couldn’t sleep and climbed in bed with me. Three people and three dogs is too many! Midas had to sleep on my chest so he wouldn’t get smooshed! Onward.

Saturday we headed out to my aunt Lisa’s for Easter with the family. The girls helped dye eggs, I stayed out of it.

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After eggs was the craft! I will probably not explain this well, but we put drops of nail polish in hot water. They mixed together and created kind of a film on top of the water, and if you dipped a coffee mug in just right, the nail polish clings to the mug and you have a pretty design!

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This was definitely a craft where you learned from your first round and made adjustments. Some nail polishes worked better than others, smaller drops worked better than big drops, and some people went with just one color which looked super cool. Super fun craft!

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We did an egg hunt outside, then the kids got Easter baskets. This picture is a bit blurry, but the photo bomb was too good to leave out! Dinner was my uncle Stan’s ribs and I definitely out ate everyone at my table. Word.

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The girls are super into Star Wars still, which made Easter Baskets easy. The Easter Bunny hid plastic Star Wars eggs with stickers in them, they got totally amazing marshmallow Storm Trooper and BB-8 things, Star Wars eggs, and some paper Storm Trooper things that I’m leaving for the babysitter to do with them today.

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Best gift? Light saber bubbles! They light up! So totally amazing (found at Walgreens). Because no one got much sleep our morning was a little slow. We hit the late service at church, then had brunch out and about. Our church is trying to make services more family friendly so they have replaced some of the chairs with round tables that the kids can color at. It worked perfectly for us. We were kind of off by ourselves, the girls brought books so they could read (and listen), and I didn’t feel like we were bothering anyone around us. Two thumbs up.

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Magic Kingdom – Sunday

Magic Kingdom! What a magical way to start the week.

Before we dive in, let’s cover some logistical things first. While you could probably wing it at Disney, they have made it increasingly difficult to do that. Advanced dining reservations (sit down restaurants, there are still plenty of counter service restaurants) need to be booked 180 days out from your trip, and Fast Passes are booked out 60 days if you’re on property, or 30 days if not. We chose to only make a dining reservation for our Epcot evening, since I just didn’t know where we would be at any given time. As far as Fast Passes go, I like the new system. Basically, you can book 3 fast passes each day, and you can do so on your phone or the website. The new system allowed them to do fast passes for a lot of attractions that didn’t previously offer them, as well as character meet and greets. I didn’t love that you have to go to a fast pass kiosk to book them after you use your initial three, since the kiosks were difficult to find.

Also, I had touring plans for each park from the guide book I bought, but since our fast passes didn’t line up with their recommendations, those touring plans didn’t work for us. I used them as reference to see what we hadn’t hit yet, but we didn’t even attempt to follow them. Last time we were there they were just starting to publish wait times on their app, now they are posted at each ride as well which is really helpful.

mk 1

We are an early rising family, so were up and out the door hoping to make it to Magic Kingdom in time for the opening show. But, the whole park, walk, take the monorail, get in the park deal took longer than expected and we got to the park about 15 minutes after they opened. Even though it was cool when we left the house, by the time we got to the park it had warmed up enough that we were able to just go in short sleeves! The plan was to head home in the middle of the day for a rest, then come back in the evening for the parade and fireworks.

I had hoped we could meet a few characters at the front of the park, but every character we saw had a huge line (easily a 20 minute wait or more). Luckily my kids weren’t character focused, but if that is what you want to do, be prepared to skip the rides and just wait in line over and over. I would recommend doing Fast Passes for anyone you really want to meet.

mk 2

Our first fast pass was for the Peter Pan ride. The girls loved it! Super glad I fast pass’d this one since the wait time quickly climbed to 60 minutes. We tried to go on it again later, but the wait was too long. We wandered around a bit and hit It’s a Small World and the tea cups. Loved both! After we headed to the Buzz Lightyear ride which was our next Fast Pass. LOVED IT!

We had packed apples, apple sauce, protein bars (for me), and pb&j sandwiches hoping to dole those out to hungry kids in case meals weren’t at normal times. Everyone kind of filled up on these though, and we ended up snacking our way through most of the day. This worked for everyone else, but not for me. I assumed we’d still sit down for meals, but when there is so much to see and do, it was hard to take a break. My protein bars did not get me far and at some point every day I neared meltdown hangry status and demanded protein (hopefully nicely?). Were I to do something like this again, I would hard boil eggs and cut up rotisserie chicken and pack that as my snack food. It would have made things much easier. (Unfortunately I didn’t think of this until the end of the week.)

Anyway, parade time! We happened upon this parade as we were heading over to Adventure Land.

mk 3

Jungle cruise! This is such an old school ride. Our ‘tour guide’ was hilarious and totally made the ride fun. After the kids went on the Aladdin ride and my mom and I hit the Dole Whip stand. Mmmm, dole whip. Thank goodness for dairy free treats! It was perfect since it was starting to get really hot at this point.

My time frames are a little shaky, but I think this was when we separated a bit and everyone found lunch. It was close to 3:00 by this point, and there was still a lot we wanted to see. If we had left at this point, we wouldn’t have gotten back to the park until 7:00pm, and then it would have essentially just been time for a ride or two and then the parade and fireworks. We made the decision to try to push through and stay all day.

mk 4

Swiss Family treehouse! This picture was either right before or right after Delaney (shockingly) tripped and skinned her knee really badly. Luckily I had packed a full first aid kit in my backpack, so we were able to bandage her up quickly.

We wandered around a bit trying to decide our next move. At this point all of the rides had long wait times, and no one was really in the mood to wait. We didn’t have dinner reservations, and it was becoming clear that it was going to be difficult to make it all day. The roller coaster riders really wanted to hit Space Mountain (we had ridden Splash Mountain earlier), but our Fast Pass wasn’t until 7:00. We decided to just go stand by. The kids headed to the Dumbo ride with the grandparents, and we all met up after.

My parents gave the kids lanyards for Valentines to keep their money in at the park (you can see them in the first pic). As we were walking from the tea cups to Tomorrowland, Delaney realized that her money pocket was gone. It of course had all of her money in it. I retraced our steps (at a run), but it was already gone. She was crushed. CRUSHED. I didn’t want it to ruin her trip, so I told her we would work something out. As we were leaving Kristina suggested that I check lost and found. That idea hadn’t even occurred to me! Luckily the Lost and Found was in the building right next to where we were at the time, so Delaney and I headed inside to see if they had it. My jaw hit the floor when the woman came out of the back room with it! I seriously could not believe that someone had turned it in. Granted, they took $20 before they turned it in, but still, Delaney got most of her money back.

mk 5

Leaving early was a good call. We were all worn out by this point, and the kids just wanted to get back to the pool and hot tub. Total steps for the day (per my phone which is super accurate I’m sure) – 16,327.

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Labor Day

I’ve been going with pictures over words lately, and honestly, I kind of like it. It’s nice not to have to try to pull the words out when they won’t come. Friday night we headed out to my parent’s lake, then Saturday morning we got in the car early and headed up to my brother’s new cabin. It’s so beautiful! The day was cloudy, but I think that just makes the pictures more dramatic. The cousins had so much fun together. Who knew they were such die hard fisherwomen?!

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Up North

I’ve posted bits and pieces of our snow adventures up north a few weekends ago, but haven’t really posted the rest of the pictures. Let’s see what’s left that is fun.

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The chickens laid some eggs! The girls were so excited to gather them up.

chickens 2

Delaney is still the chicken whisperer.

cousins

Uncle Jeff had a rocket that he kept shooting off. It was super cool and the kids love gathering around and pushing the button.

caden sky

I seriously can’t get enough of this kid in her winter gear. The white snow with her pink hat always kills me.

delaney skate

Delaney got to ice skate for the first time! My aunt had some skates that were just her size and she was beyond excited.

delaney smile

This kid had zero fun. None.

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Snow Fun!

sled 1

After aunts and uncles left the holiday gathering, the four cousins suited up and headed outside to do some sledding. Even though it was freezing, I grabbed my camera and headed out with them because I love capturing moments like this. (Caden, Emma, Delaney)

sled 2

Samantha was awesome and pulled them down this little hill. Once they got some speed going, they zipped down to the bottom.

sled 3

Love this shot of serious Emma. After a few trips down the hill, my dad pulled the sled behind the four wheeler. He didn’t even make a full circle before he got stuck in some deceivingly deep snow. I tried to help him get out, but my brother had to come with the other four wheeler (which made me think – why on earth do they have two?) to pull him out. After that, I went inside because it was too damn cold out. Lesson learned, we all need better cold weather gear for the Grunst family Christmas up north!

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Holiday Weekend

Saturday was the Krohn family Christmas with my dad’s side of the family. My brother and sister-in-law hosted at their new house since my parent’s house is still being remodeled. It was cold as always, but at least the snow was light enough that everyone could make the drive safely.

We ate brunch, then I set up to take pictures in front of the tree with some Christmas photo props my mom picked up at Target. I love photo booths at parties because as the photographer, it gives me a chance to talk to everyone. Plus, everyone is for sure in at least one picture! Their tree was opposite big windows, so we had great light. The glasses were cute (especially the gold glasses!) but they didn’t stay on the sticks well. The photo frame was my favorite prop, and I started suggesting that to people by the end.

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Friday

* It appears I did not get the children who fall into their beds exhausted after their full day at kindergarten. My two are falling asleep at their normal time. However, I did seem to get the children who are famished when they get home! They eat a much larger dinner than usual, and a big bedtime snack. Can’t complain about that!

* Dance class started last night. The last two years we’ve done Saturday morning classes. I loved it. Ate breakfast, grabbed my to go coffee and browsed email and facebook while watching them dance. It was relaxing. This year the Saturday morning class was too late in the day, so we went with Thursday night. All of the comp girls are there doing classes, as well as a million rec kids, AND their siblings. What is it about younger kids that makes parents ignore them and let them scream and wail? It was so loud my introverted brain was ready to explode. Next week I will be bringing headphones along.

* Labor Day! My brother and his family came out to the lake to camp, so the whole family was together. I love watching the cousins play together. Even the dogs got in on the fun! We had the most perfect day to end summer with.

dad lonni

My dad and my brother. As much as my mom and I look alike, that’s how much my dad and brother look alike.

grandkids

Grandkids! On a boat! There should also be an accompanying picture of the entire family to go with this, but the woman I handed my camera to, apparently didn’t actually press the button. So no picture.

lucy water

Lucy! She jumped off the boat and swam twice! While we were on the sandbar my brother was throwing a stick for Max who would bound through the water to get it. We threw the stick for Lucy and she looked at it like “Maybe? I’ll stroll though.” She slept hard for a few days, but now I swear she’s moving better than ever.

lane and sam

Two goofballs. Need I say more?

cousins

The 5-year-olds feeding the last of the corn to the goats and sheep. We found out on our last weekend there that they have names, fun names! Oops.

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Cooking Birthday Party

Back in January, I had basically talked the girls into doing a faux cooking class, with a hibachi family dinner after. I made the reservation, and then put it out of my mind until after Valentine’s Day.

three amigos

We did the cooking class at my brother’s house because he has the better kitchen for it. It also meant I didn’t have to clean my house in preparation for this which was a much needed break. What I didn’t think through was that this meant my brother and his wife *did* have to clean before we arrived. Oops! Thanks guys!

The girls are in a great stage with food right now, very open to trying new things, but also really loving certain favorites. I decided to make their very favorite thing – Starbucks Pumpkin Scones. Scones are easy to make, and I knew they would love the whole process. Found a copycat recipe online and we were set.

mixing

Everyone took part in this. They all measured ingredients, cut butter in, and when it came time to mix the wet with the dry, I told them to dig in and mix it up!

pumpmkin scones

Oh my god these are so good! We will absolutely make them again, but only when I know they’ll get eaten in one day. I cannot have these in the house, too tempting!

clean plates

I had two other recipes planned for the cousin cooking class. The first was peanut butter stuffed bananas dipped in chocolate. Sounds amazing right? The inspirational pin:

Source: celebrations.com via Erin on Pinterest

 

And our results. I have no idea where this woman found straight bananas. Also? She did not use melted chocolate chips, she either added something to the chocolate, or used melting chocolate. These tasted good, they just didn’t look very good.

pb bananas

The last recipe was Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks. No pictures of these because they were a bit of a letdown. They taste okay, although I think there is too much gelatin. I’m the only one who liked them, and I would say they are just meh. Decent snack though.

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Cousins Captured

I took this picture of the three girls on Bake Day. They were being so funny that day, and Emma was so into me taking her picture which I loved. But, I can’t seem to get the picture exactly how I want it! When I have it in color that doesn’t seem quite right. When I switch it to black and white it feels grainy. I don’t know. What I do know is that I want to frame a copy of it for each of their rooms, so I need to pick something and get it printed out asap. And so I come to you. A poll! (On some I cloned out Caden’s head bonk, on others I didn’t. I’ll get rid of it before I print it out, no worries.)

Picture #1

cousins 5

Picture #2
cousins 6

Picture #3
cousins bw

Picture #4
cousins

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