The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Birthday Party

Saturday was my Grandfather’s 85th birthday party at my parent’s house. It was quite the party! My contribution (besides the quadruple batch of mac & cheese) was to bake his birthday cake(s). He requested chocolate, which was easy enough. I’ve baked enough cakes to know what I wanted in a recipe. A solid cake, with easy filling and frosting. I love a good swiss buttercream as much as the next person, but I knew I wouldn’t have time, nor would I want something complicated. My plan was to bake the cakes ahead of time, freeze them, and then do the fillings and frostings that day.

I did both cakes as four layer cakes, because who doesn’t love that challenge? I’m a geek that way. The first one was a chocolate layer cake with raspberry filling and a chocolate ganache frosting by Smitten Kitchen. Yum. Very rich, but yum.

The second was a chocolate mousse cake with whipped cream frosting. Far and away, this was my favorite. Caden’s too. The dark chocolate in the chocolate mousse balanced by the whipped cream frosting? To die for! And I totally went overboard with the four layers and piled on the mousse in between.

Caden has a huge sweet tooth but really, she doesn’t like things too sweet. She got in front of that bowl of mousse and was not going to move. She kept eating and eating. A girl after my own heart.

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Over the eating hump

I think food stress has been the worst stress for me. From when to introduce foods, to trying to find calorie dense foods that they would eat, to getting them to eat something, anything! It’s hard when your kids go from being really great eaters, to pushing away their plate without touching a thing. Especially when you’re trying to get them out of the 2nd percentile for weight.

But eventually I realized that Caden was still growing, no matter how little she seemed to eat and that maybe, this was the new normal. Slowly they started eating more, and I started seeing foods on their daycare cards that they had never eaten before. When I was asking “Broccoli? She really ate broccoli?” and the answer was yes, I knew we were over the hump. I still have to be careful not to burn them out on certain foods, but their food horizons are ever expanding and I’m trying to do what I can to keep that expansion going.

Last night was National Night Out. My plan was to eat a quick dinner at home and then head down to the block party. It was hot, so cooking was not an option. I made smoothies, defrosted two muffins, and cut up some cheese and crackers. When Caden saw her plate she said “Oh gosh!” She was super excited for her yogurt smoothie!

Smiles! Excitement! It’s so nice to have that at meal time again.

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Favorite Pic from Vacation

It’s a toss up.


Grandma Cookies

My grandma baked us cookies and the girls love them. They call them ‘grandma cookies’ to distinguish them from the 13 other varieties of cookies we have in the house to satisfy Caden’s every cookie whim. We made a quick run to Old Navy after dinner and on the way back I promised Delaney she could have a grandma cookie. She carried the jar around the yard, finally settling down at the playhouse.

And then she put it back in the jar! She kept doing that over and over. Open the lid, take a cookie out, take a bite, put it back in. No more grandma cookies for me! They all have a bite out of them!

Caden went with the hold and play move. That cookie was gross by the time she finally ate it.

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Brilliant Idea

The girls used to have yogurt every day for lunch. We would mix pureed fruit with plain yogurt for them. They loved it and it was nice because even if they were picky about the rest of lunch, at least they ate their yogurt. Even better for me, during the week, the nanny was the one who had to deal with it.

Now that they go to daycare, they have yogurt with dinner. Generally I put them in their chairs, give them their yogurt and then put the final touches on dinner. But yogurt is messy and it got everywhere and Delaney loved to dump it out and then rub it in her hair. Inevitably someone tried to drink it, and it was just a giant mess for me to clean up.

Finally I realized, why not just drink it? It’s homemade, so it isn’t super thick. So I put it in glasses and voila! So nice and easy!

You should have seen me patting myself on the back after I took that picture. No mess! Delaney drank hers like that! Caden was enjoying it too! I’m so smart! And then I went into the kitchen to put the pasta on their plates and I heard something. When I walked back into the dining room I saw that Delaney’s glass was nowhere to be found, she had thrown it somewhere. (Turns out it ended up in the living room. At least it was empty?) And Caden had dumped her yogurt onto her placemat. Yay. Kind of forgot that Caden is in a ‘dump your cup out’ phase whether it’s water, milk, or yogurt in her cup. Um, oops? But, I think we’ll stick with drinking the yogurt since even with the dumping, it was less messy than it is with spoons.


Best Friends Indeed

Or maybe not.

This was supposed to be a cute post with the girls smiling, wearing their matching best friends shirts. But, this is what happened when I tried to get that shot this morning.

And truly, except for bath time, they haven’t been very friendly towards each other today.

So instead, let’s talk about the snack we had before bed tonight. We eat alot of ice cream in this house. We just do. But with trying to put weight back on Caden, we’ve been eating it every night.* Tonight, my intention was to bake some cookies, but when I opened the freezer to get them out, Delaney saw the ice cream and so we had both.

Caden was all about the cookies. Delaney was more focused on the ice cream.

This won’t end well.

That’s what I thought.

*And by we, I mean Caden and Delaney. I used to eat some too, but quickly realized I don’t have their metabolism and ice cream every night is not a good idea.

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Daycare Update

We’re on Daycare Day #4 and things are definitely getting better. There were still tears this morning when I dropped them off, but they were crying and running into the room, so I think they like it there. The daycare is in my building, so I can peek into their room during the day without them seeing me (hopefully). It’s nice to have that visual of happy children, especially when they’re crying when I leave them.

They’re taking naps, although not nearly as long as the naps they used to take at home. But the fact that they sleep on little cots in a room full of other kids is nothing short of amazing to me. They’re also going to bed earlier to try to make up for some of that sleep. That extra half hour to myself in the evenings is odd? Nice? Relaxing?

One unexpected benefit is that they are ravenous when I pick them up. They aren’t eating well there quite yet. I’m hoping that once they’re settled they’ll eat better. Until then, we do snacks on the ride home and I’m enjoying the fact that they wolf down their dinner. It’s so, so nice to have two children who eat instead of feeding everything to Lucy. Tuesday night I made turkey pesto meatballs. They both ate two and kept saying “Sausage! Yummy!” Last night Delaney ate three bowls of Grammy’s applesauce, two helpings of pasta, her avocado plus some of Caden’s and three shrimp. Caden ate about the same, minus two bowls of applesauce. It was Awesome.

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Third times the charm

Three meals today, three glasses of spilled milk. Which is fairly indicative of how mealtimes have been going around our house these days.

At our 15 month appointment the pediatrician told me that soon their appetites would go down and the girls would become more picky. I knew it was coming and yet at 18 months they were still good eaters so I thought maybe we were exempt? But then in November we all got colds. Caden became a little pickier then, and it’s just gone downhill from there.

To be fair, they’ve always been picky at dinner, the meal that is more suited for me than them. They like their food in piles – a pile of veggies, a pile of noodles, a pile of meat. When I mix them together, like a pasta with veggies and meat in it, they protest. Often, they won’t even try what I’ve made for them. Tonight was lasagna, and it was goooood. Caden put some in her mouth and immediately let it slide out. Same with Delaney. I know they would like it, but it’s like they have to act like they don’t like it the first fifteen times, just to keep me on my toes.

But now they’ve gotten pickier at breakfast and lunch as well. Delaney is mostly a good eater. Messy, but she eats a good amount 90% of the time. Except she’s a dumper. When she eats her yogurt or her applesauce, she dumps it out on her placemat. I think it’s because then she can mush her hands in it? Who knows. What I do know, is that she may find herself drinking out of a sippy cup again very soon. Today I didn’t even give her her milk cup next to her and she still managed to spill it at every meal.

I know it’s a phase. At least I hope it’s a phase! I don’t want this to become their reality. I don’t want to have to serve buttered noodles at every meal, just to ensure there’s something on their plate they’ll eat. I try very hard not to react, but just to correct when they feed the dog all of their food, or dump it wherever, but it’s hard. When it’s a waffle that I popped in the toaster it’s easier than lasagna that took me an hour to make, but I’m working on it. I want to raise adventurous eaters!

On an entirely different note, Monday is their first full day at daycare. They both came down with colds today and have been attached to me like glue for the last week, so I’m not real hopeful about the handoff. Separation anxiety has been running high around here, to the point that they wake up at night and cling to me or need to come to bed with me for a while before falling back asleep. Once this cold has run it’s course, we’ll be correcting that behavior quickly. I do love our conversations about the dog and cat and where my nose is at midnight, but I also like my sleep and so do they.


Best of 2009: Favorite Food

I love cereal. It’s been a staple in my diet for my entire life. Pre kids it was my breakfast and dinner most days. So it is with a great amount of pride, that I announce my children’s favorite food this year was clearly cereal. (Pronounced like syria, dropping the l.)

The nanny would arrive at 8:00am, but the girls were often up before that. I would get them out of their cribs and set them up on the couch with a blanket, bowls of dry cereal, and Mickey Mouse.

It’s also a favorite breakfast. We’re mostly a Kashi family. The girls like Honey Sunshine and the warm cinnamon Toasted O’s. I once mistakenly bought a box of a different *flavor* of Toasted O’s and they refused to eat them. We’ve tried a few organic brands of cereal, but they’re way expensive and don’t taste that good, so we stick with Kashi.

And since I’m equal opportunity, we also serve it for morning snack, afternoon snack, and pre-bedtime snack. Cereal for everyone!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Amanda came over for dinner on Saturday night and somehow, we’ve gotten to something of a tradition of baking chocolate chip cookies after we eat. We must normally do this after the girls go to bed, because this time we had to share.

They were fresh out of the oven (Sweet Martha’s to boot!) and Caden shoveled it in. Gone! Delaney ate hers very daintily.

And then Caden stared at Amanda until she gave her another cookie. Caden definitely has the sweet tooth!

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