The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Shoe shopping insanity

Even though I swear we just went shoe shopping, both girls go to pair of shoes were looking pretty worn. Also, we needed both cute boots and snow boots. While I hate Stride Rite at the moment, they have the Kamik snow boots I wanted the girls to try on, so we headed there on Friday. We had the store to ourselves, and still it was insanity. For whatever reason, the girls kept hiding from me behind the displays. Is there anything worse than scanning the store and not seeing your child? Ugh. I loved the boots, but darn they’re expensive. I was confident I could find them for a better price elsewhere, so I noted their sizes and we moved on to casual shoes. (Of course it’s going to snow today, so we had to make a trip back to the store to buy the $#@% boots last night.) Caden is a size smaller than Delaney, so can still fit into the toddler shoes. She very quickly found a cute pair of Hello Kitty Keds that everyone loved. Last year both girls had fake ugg boots that they wore nonstop all winter, so you’d think they would want another pair for this year? No. I offered up every boot, they didn’t want any. Delaney and I were checking out their tall boots, but it’s really hard to pay $60 for boots that you know will have holes in the toes within a month. So we looked at slip on shoes, but they’re all ballet flats and that isn’t what she’s looking for. Anyway, long story longer, we left with just Caden’s Keds. Also, my girls are such Girls. Very opinionated about their shoes and they love to shop!

Saturday we hit up Target’s shoe section. Delaney very quickly found a pair of super cute tall black boots. They fit, they were comfortable, and they were $25! Done.

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Caden took much longer. Delaney and I were running up and down the aisle, bringing her shoes and boots to try on. She didn’t like anything, and I even offered up a pair of gold glittery boots! Finally I went around the corner and found a pair of brown cowboy boots, and a pair of brown fake uggs. She tried both on. She checked herself out in the mirror. She couldn’t decide, so she tried them on again. I liked the cowboy boots, Laney lobbied for the comfy boots. I thought we might need to order lunch into the shoe aisle! And then, she chose.

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Oh they like to shop

I’ve been holding off digging through the girls’ clothes for vacation because I knew once I brought the bin out, clothes would be everywhere until we left. I finally dug through things at the end of last week and it wasn’t good. Delaney had one pair of shorts that fit her! Yikes. I feel like the girls grew incrementally from birth to age 4.75, and then BOOM! They’ve grown so much the last few months. Legs are longer, waists are bigger, it’s crazy.

I knew we would need to do some shopping, so we had planned to go to the Mall of America* on Saturday. Never again. Well and truly, never again on a weekend. That place is a catastrophe with any sort of traffic at all, they just can’t handle it or figure it out. Honestly. It can’t be that difficult can it?

Anyway, after some rides (Caden rode the big rollercoaster!) and some dinner, we headed to Old Navy. The girls are in a bit of a weird place size wise. They need the longer shirts that come in the Girls size, but need the shorter pants in the Kids size. But sometimes they can wear the Girls bottoms? Basically, we need to try everything on before we buy.

We divided and conquered. Mom, Delaney and I hit the Girls section looking for shorts for her. Dad and Caden hit the Kids section looking for ….? After digging through the shorts to find Delaney’s size, Mom told me Caden was in a dressing room, so I headed back there with Delaney and a pair of shorts for her to try on.

My girls LOVE to shop and they LOVE to try clothes on. This was like nirvana for them! And to have people bringing them things in the dressing room? Oh they were in heaven. It was also chaos.

“No Caden, you cannot get that full price skirt.”
“No Delaney, you don’t have to try on the dresses, we know they’ll fit.”
“No Mom, Caden doesn’t need any more pairs of shorts.”
“Yes Dad, they actually do need flip flops.”

No, yes, no, yes, no, yes, you can get one too then! Over and over. My dad was shaking his head, but although it’s chaotic, it’s the only way to get through it and make sure we get clothes they like and fit. They each got a pair of jean capris, cardigans, and flip flops, Delaney got four pairs of shorts, we found a bunch of dresses on sale, and they each got beach hats that kill me they are so adorable. We are now set for vacation. (Actually, after picking up a pair of sandals for Delaney yesterday, we are now set for vacation.)

*I avoid the MOA like the plague. It’s huge, you can’t find anything, it’s inefficient, I hate it. But, Delaney wanted to see the ice castles (which we never made it to), and they’ve fallen in love with the bubble bars from Lush and that is the only store in MN. Next time I will simply order online, although we bought enough to last us a very, very long time.

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Back to School shopping

I am honestly a little giddy about all of the back to school stuff everywhere. And we aren’t even going to kindergarten this year! There’s just something about the girls being four now that makes me want to shop for them a little differently. More grown up clothes, you know? Last week the Gap brands had 30% off so I immediately went out to the sites and grabbed colored jeans in the girls size (Old Navy) and a pair of the mini skinny dark rinse (Gap). Skinny jeans fit the girls the best and these are all so cute I can hardly stand it!

On top of that, Target has BOGO on their ballet flats this week. Last year the girls wore holes into their ballet flats, so we will definitely be picking up a few pair this year. And Stride Rite just started their BOGO too! It’s shoe shopping mania! We shall see what I end up buying at Stride Rite but for now, I’m saying only sneakers. I love this silver pair, but it’s rare I can talk the girls into the styles I like.

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Wardrobe Strategy

This, minus a pair of shoes I couldn’t find, is what I bought at the MVMOM sale last Saturday. Oh! And a pair of tap shoes for Laney. We have more than enough pants, winter coats, and no need for any toys, so I headed straight for the shoes. Shoes are the area where I’ve noticed the cute stuff goes fast. There’s generally time to get cute clothes, especially if matching doesn’t matter. Both girls have worn their shoes at least twice already, put the puzzles together four times, and read the books. Win! I spent $41, sold $317, so yay there as well.

The bulk of their fall/winter wardrobe came from three shopping trips last winter. I hit the Black Friday Children’s Place sale, highly recommend that one. I got some *amazing* deals there on some really cute things. I also hit my Old Navy when they took 50% off their clearance items. When I was taking the tags off those items most of them were priced at $4, which means I got brand new pants and shirts for $2 or less. That’s better than you can do used, and nothing is shrunk or washed out. The third stop was Target clearance. I found some great deals on some nicer Cherokee tops, as well as some basic pants and other shirts.

Throw in some hand me downs and a few sale things I’ve gotten recently, and we’re set. Sometimes when I finish early like this I’m tempted by the new things that are out in stores, but not this time. I feel like we have just the right amount of clothes, and I know buying more will only stress me out trying to make sure they wear it all.

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Sticker Chart

We’ve been doing sticker charts for sleep around here for awhile. Unfortunately for the girls, I’m kind of horrible with these. I seem to change the rules for getting a sticker, and I’m horrible on follow through. But, they don’t seem to mind!

You get a cupcake sticker if you sleep in your own bed all night. And believe me, if they wake up in their own bed the first thing they want to do is get a sticker. But, as you can see, they love to put stickers from school on the chart too so it isn’t completely accurate.

Last night we needed to go to Target to pick up my asthma prescription, so I said since the sticker chart was full, they could each pick out a toy. The rule was no more than $5, one toy each. As we walked away from the pharmacy I saw the Easter candy and I had a thought. They could get a toy if they wanted, or a bag of candy. They both went for the candy. Unsurprising.

Caden immediately picked out a bag of peanut butter eggs. We have them at home and she loves them. Everything else she looked at was evaluated on whether or not she’d give up the peanut butter eggs for the new candy. In the end, some Life Saver gummy bunnies won out.

Delaney looked and looked and looked. She wanted explanations of every candy, she wanted to be lifted up high, she wanted to shake the eggs. She kept saying “I’m still lookin’ Mama.” In the end, she chose some Cadbury mini eggs that we also have at home that she loves.

Guess who was happy with their choice and who wasn’t? That’s right, Caden hated her candy. I don’t blame her, they have a weird aftertaste. And I told Delaney she didn’t have to share if she didn’t want to. She shared a few, but then that was that since she didn’t want the gummy bunnies in trade. Caden cried and cried and asked to go back to get the peanut butter eggs. I told her no, that she chose the gummy bunnies and that next time, she now knows to make a better choice.

I bought two packages of Cadbury cream eggs for me because a) they are the best candy ever and 2) they were on sale for .99 each!

NOTE TO MY MOTHER: Do not buy Caden the peanut butter eggs! This is a good lesson for her to learn.

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Racecar

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This is how we do the majority of our shopping these days. This cart is specifically at Cub Foods, which we love. The girls can see out, they drive their car, they honk their horn, they smile at everyone. It’s a win-win. I find myself choosing to shop at Cub over other stores because of these carts. Caden cries when you take her out! Target? Can’t say the same for you. The seats face me, which the girls don’t like. And 90% of the time the straps are broken, which I don’t like.

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Things I wish I would have known a lot earlier

** When I go shopping, I generally load the girls into their stroller, hang my reusable shopping bags off the handlebars and shop into my bags. As you can imagine, this isn’t super convenient. I can’t fit a lot of groceries into the bags, and if I need milk or cereal forget about it. As frustrating as this experience is, why did it take me so, so long to realize there are carts made for two toddlers? Tonight at Cub we used a cart with the car on the front end, with two seats in it. The girls LOVED it. They talked and giggled through the whole store. And I could shop into a cart, which I loved. I’m not a fan of the double carts at Target and I really wish my Whole Foods would get some, but this realization has definitively changed the shopping game for me.

** I started buying summer clothes for the girls in February. At that time, I couldn’t imagine Caden fitting into 6-12 month pants, much less 12-18 months. But oh so much growing happens in 5 months. Plus, summer clothes seem to be more forgiving size-wise than winter clothes. I could have purchased a size up for just about everything. Since it’s been cool the past few days, the girls have had on long pants and long sleeve t-shirts. I was hoping to get more wear out of the 6-12 month pants this fall, but I don’t think I will. I’m skipping over 12 month long sleeve shirts, and hoping the 18 month size doesn’t fall off Caden’s shoulders.

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Shopping

I unwittingly bought the infant car seats that have higher height and weight restrictions and sothe girls, at almost one year, are still in them.  To be fair, because they have the Bundle Me’s on them, it means I don’t have to put snowsuits on them when we go places, so that is a huge factor in keeping them in them as long as we have.  They’ll switch to the convertibles sometime in March when the weather gets nicer, but until then, buckets it is!

The stroller we’ve used up until now is a tandem.  One twin in front, one in back.  These are the only kind of double strollers that allow you to snap the carseats into them.  I *love* my tandem stroller.   It has an awesome cup holder for me, it drives really nicely, and it’s a breeze to fold down.  But, I know side by side strollers have their place so I bought a used Maclaren this winter.  It’s been sitting in the garage until Friday.  The tandem isn’t a fabulous mall stroller.  It can be hard to maneuver around corners and I can’t take it into a lot of stores.  

Since the nanny had the day off on Friday, I drove the girls down to my mom’s work to meet everyone there.  Then we headed to the mall food court to meet up with my dad and Papa Dood for lunch.  The girls were a little shy at the office, but they loved the mall!  So much to look at, plus food!  And we used the sbs stroller for the first time.  I snapped the foot muffs on to keep them a little warmer, and we did light jackets and hats.  

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It’s still not the smallest stroller in the world, and it’s a little weird not having the girls looking at me, but I like it.  After lunch when we strolled around the mall, we put their legs on top of the foot muffs so they could kick their feet.  They had so much fun being able to look around.  With twins, you get a lot of attention.  It happened more when they were little, but you get used to it and learn to keep your head down to avoid conversations.  With this stroller, we got a lot of attention.  It didn’t help they were in matching outfits, but everyone that walked towards us smiled at the girls.  I’m sure they were smiling back as well!  

After lunch we rode the carousel.  They were fascinated by it while we were eating lunch, but a little wary once we were on the horses.  Caden loved it at first, while Delaney wanted off.  About halfway through they switched, and Delaney started enjoying it and Caden was frantically trying to get in my arms.  

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