The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Flowers! A lot less of them.

Free time has been at an all time low the last few weeks with all of our activities. With the rain, I really didn’t know when I was going to get some flowers planted. Last year I mostly replicated what I did at the old house – lots of pots of flowers on the patio. But it didn’t work. The pots looked out of place. So this year I scaled way back. A few pots out front and a few pots out back, and then focusing more on planting more perennials and more color in the back of the yard.

Delaney and I picked the flowers out on Sunday evening. It was cold! And the selection wasn’t huge so we chose quickly and figured we’d work with what we bought. I spent $50? Which is easily the least amount I’ve ever spent on flowers.

Monday night was our only free night, so we planted everything after dinner. Delaney and I strategized pot selection and placement, I filled the pots with dirt, Caden sprinkled fertilizer and Delaney planted. We are a well oiled machine! I forgot how much fun it is planting flowers with the girls. Even better that it was a low key event this year.

Delaney planted a cabbage plant that she brought home from school a month ago, and she has been steadily watering it every night. Watering is my least favorite activity, so it works well that she just waters everything now. I don’t even have to ask her which is even better.

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Flowers v2015

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The last few years we’ve planted flowers with my parents. It’s a fun group activity, and more hands make the work go faster. This year I scaled back my pots considerably. I don’t have a deck to put them on, the backyard is still in upheaval, so it made sense to just do a few containers for when the patio is eventually complete. Since we weren’t planting as many flowers, and Saturday was the sunny day, we got it done just the three of us.

One of the best tweaks I’ve made to our process is to dump the dirt from the flowers next to the shed in the fall, rather than toting it to the back of the yard. It makes it so much easier to fill the pots up in the spring.

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We filled the pots with wet leaves, then dirt, and then placed the flowers in each pot so we could see what should go where. One big flower, one trailing flower, one pop of color in each pot. It didn’t take long to get everything set up. The girls would dig a hole, the other would put in the fertilizer, and I would plant the flower.

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For Mother’s Day the girls got me a flat of petunias. Once the main pots had their big flowers in them, I let the girls go to town with the petunias while I did the flower boxes. I have a million cute pots in the shed, so they were running back and forth, filling things with dirt, then planting the flowers. I love these moments of creative independence, watching which pots they pick, how they work together, how they arrange the flowers. They did an awesome job!

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Rejuvenating Weekend

Last week was kind of rough. I was hormonal, the kids were sick, we were stuck at home for five days, and it was cloudy and rainy. I was going bonkers by Friday. Oh wait, I forgot to update last Friday’s post! Remember when I said both kids were going to school? Yeah. I ate those words around 5:00am when Delaney climbed in bed with me and from the heat coming off her body, I guessed her temp at 101. I dragged her into work with me for a few hours and even got her a fancy hot dog from the food trucks. I paid for all of that once we were home where she took a nap, and woke up with a 102.7 fever. Woo.

Anyway, Saturday morning we woke up, the sun was shining, and everyone’s fevers were gone! The weather was absolutely perfect this weekend, which in turn made us super productive.

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Saturday was a little crazy. First, it was my birthday, which I completely forgot about until I checked the weather on my phone and saw Facebook notices. Second, we had a jam packed day planned. Bridal shower in the morning, dance pictures, then the planting of the flowers. It was so warm Caden needed an outfit change.

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We have this down to a science now, so it only takes a few hours. Last fall I dumped the dirt by the shed, so I didn’t have to schlep to the back of the yard this time which helped as well. The girls weren’t as into it this year, although I’m not sure if they were fully recovered. Either way, my mom and I strategized and in the end, we were only one gerbera daisy short.

Post birthday cake, the girls went to a birthday party and my parents and I changed clothes and headed out for a birthday dinner. My neighbor and I had been chatting about me buying his house in a few years, but he’s going to stay for the long haul now, so dinner conversation consisted of throwing around remodeling ideas and me showing them things I’ve pinned over the years. A possible plan is coming together which is actually feasible, I just need a little more expert advice.

I love celebrating birthdays, but I always have trouble figuring out what I want to do for mine. This day was exactly it. Quiet celebration spent with my favorite people. (For any local gf people, I picked up a cake from Bittersweet Bakery and it was super tasty. Highly recommend.)

Sunday was more perfection (thanks grandma, I know that was your doing). We slept in, hit the Farmer’s Market, grabbed groceries, planted the last flowers, tilled and planted the garden, cleaned out the car, read books on the deck, ate an amazing dinner on the screen porch, and went for a bike ride. If the pool had been open we probably would have fit that in too! I had a smile on my face the entire day.

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Flower Planting v2013

Back in the day I shopped for and planted all of my flowers by myself. But that’s not that fun, plus it always needs to happen around my birthday and Mother’s Day, so might as well make it a family adventure. It’s fun to look at our flower planting adventures throughout the years. The girls have definitely gone from being mildly in the way to actually being really helpful.

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We have our routine down. My dad loads up a wheel barrow full of dirt, I fill the containers 3/4 full with wet leaves, and my mom and the girls plant the flowers. My dirt was awesome this year, we didn’t have to augment with anything. Every fall I dump all of my pots in the corner of my backyard and let everything compost over the fall and winter. It makes for lovely dirt the next spring!

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My poor dad. He was in charge of seeding the lawn. He had to push this heavy seeder thing and haul the big seed bags around. I’m now watering like a crazy person in the hopes that this is the summer my lawn makes a turn around back to green and lush.

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I want to do a post on this, but I kept my 50mm lens on my camera this weekend and was wowed with some of the pictures I got from it. Shots I’ve tried to get in the past actually came through! Love this close up.

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This kid would not stop planting. Delaney took a break and went inside to listen to her music, but Caden kept at it. Shoveling dirt into the containers, sprinkling osmocote, picking out plants, digging and watering. Gardening is in her blood! She maybe pushed it a little too far though, since she had some trouble sleeping. I have to remember that this one needs more breaks than her sister.

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At the end my mom gave her a pot and all the leftover flowers. It’s a mishmash of petunias, snapdragons, and impatiens but she is insanely proud of it.

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So pretty! My goal for the summer is to teach the girls how to water efficiently enough that it can be their chore. I love watering for about a week, and then I lose interest. But I love my beautiful containers! So hopefully this can be Caden’s thing.

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Four and Flowers

Over the past few years we’ve done a few different things on Mother’s Day. Twice I think? We golfed. That was nice. A little break from the girls, and I never get to golf so yay for a few hours with my mom! One year we did a Twins game, and last year we did the Farmer’s Market. With the next few weekends booked up, we hit the flowers again to try to get my yard in order while the sun was shining.

Caden is very into gardening and flowers. Delaney too, but Caden is very vocal about it. She went nutso at the nursery. All those flowers! So many colors to choose from! She was very cute, always checking in with my mom or me before loading her flower of choice onto the cart.

As I was taking these pictures I sat back and laughed and laughed. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love age four. Dear god they are so funny! And so serious and earnest about everything. Watching them pick out flowers and drag the hose around and have conversations with my mom, it’s all so priceless.

Being a mother has been amazing, but I feel like now I’m really enjoying it, really enjoying my children. Sure sometimes they make me want to tear my hair out, but more often than not these days, they are genuinely making my heart smile.

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The gardeners

My mom is a big time gardener. Their yard is filled with plants and she has an absolute green thumb. She can get things to grow and bloom and thrive that no one else can. Caden has definitely inherited her love of gardening. She’s been digging in the garden and ‘planting’ flowers for a month now! My mom brought up some planters and flowers for her to plant in since it’s still a touch too early to plant outside. Caden was thrilled!

The gardeners at work!

The pots that my mom found, which are totally adorable, do not have holes in the bottom so we have to be careful about our watering.

So far, so good! Caden has already started watering the other flowers and shrubs outside. I’m hoping if I can teach her how to turn on the hose, I can pass that job off to her this summer!

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Watering the water

The girls love watering the flowers, but having them drag the hose around just isn’t a great proposition at this point. While I kind of hate the space it takes up on my deck, I brought out the water table so they could fill up their little watering cans. It wasn’t super warm out, plus the water we put in was cold, but they had so much fun!

Caden’s was more plastic teapot than watering can, but it worked.

Instead of submerging their watering cans, they used little cups to fill them up. Both of them would patiently fill it up, not noticing that the spout was angled so that just as much water was pouring out as was going in.

“Did you water the herbs yet?” “The herbs? The herbs! Where are the herbs?” Look at Laney hustle!

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Mother’s Day

The times when being a single parent comes in handy is definitely holiday time. You can do whatever you want, with whomever you want, no compromise necessary. The downside is that I have to plan my own Mother’s Day. But if it means that we get to eat the best queso dip ever, then I don’t really see that as a downside.

My first two Mother’s Day we played golf, but it’s never all that warm in early May. This year we decided to hit the Farmer’s Market and buy flowers. The girls were beyond excited to do this. We met up with my aunt and cousin, grabbed some fresh squeezed orange juice and mini donuts, and perused the flowers. Pickings were still slim, I think next weekend is when they’ll be out in full force, but we found what we needed. In order to minimize chaos, I shop as quickly as possible just grabbing flowers and throwing them in a box. Apparently the girls did the same and we just hoped we came out with some winners. Caden helped me push the wagon back to the truck. She took her job *very* seriously.

We had some time before our lunch reservations so we stopped in at Lululemon. My mom found a long sleeve workout shirt and I bought some running capris. They’re expensive, but they are worth it! They make me feel skinny without being too tight, and I’d like to think they maybe gave my legs a little added support. Either way, I’m in love. Broke, but in love. Lunch was at Rojo and if you’re local and haven’t been – GO! Also, get the queso dip and the white sangria. Caden and Delaney ate their weight in chips and salsa, so it was an all around two thumbs up.

The Minnesota weather tried to thwart our plans, but we napped through the rain and then got to planting. My mom is much better at deciding which flowers go well together, so I was not wasting this opportunity. I got the pots ready, and the girls helped her plant.

Have I mentioned how much I love my new lens? Because I do.

Alyssa – here’s your dahlia! You can come visit him whenever you like.


I want the sprinkles back!

I used to do all of the flower buying and planting by myself. But I’m not the best at remembering how many pots I have, or determining how many of which flowers I need. Plus, it’s backbreaking work to do by yourself. Carting dirt from the back of the yard, shoveling, and hauling pots around. Much more fun to do it with your family. And truly, my mom is much better at the flower picking than I am.

We’ve done it often enough that we have a system down. My dad fills the wheel barrow with dirt and brings it up. I bring out the pots and fill them with leaves. My mom hauls up the flowers and starts placing them in the pots. We’re a well oiled machine! And this year we had extra helpers.

The set up.

Laney is back with me. She picked out which purple flower would go into the orange pot. Caden is up front sprinkling the fertilizer into the pot. My mom is trying to get her to sprinkle a little less.

Caden *loved* to sprinkle! Hopefully we spread it around enough so that the flowers aren’t over fertilized!

Watering everything doesn’t take too long, but everything gets wet because the girls insist on holding onto the hose!


Boys again

On Saturday we went to a local garden center to pick up some flowers as well as a Mother’s Day present for my mom. I had planned on having the girls walk with me, but the carts were perfect for them to ride on the end. It even looked marginally safe! They would occasionally get off and pick out flowers. Were it up to Delaney, all of our flowers would be yellow! It’s her favorite color and her answer any time you ask her which color she wants.

As we were checking out, the cashier said to me “Aren’t you so proud of your boys when you hear other kids screaming like that?” (There was one child in the store crying their eyes out.) After thinking “Boys? Really?” I just smiled and nodded. Because yes I’m proud of my girls for behaving on 97% of our outings, but I know on any given day, on any given outing, that crying child could be mine. When I hear other kids crying I don’t celebrate that my kids *aren’t* crying, I feel bad for the mom who has to deal with the unhappy kid!

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