The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Corn Maze 2015

Since the corn maze was super fun last year, I really wanted to make sure we got back there again this year. With 75 and sun predicted for Saturday, it seemed like the perfect day to hit it up and it was!

The girls had a birthday party in the afternoon, so we headed out after that. I worried that we wouldn’t have enough time there, but we were there for about two and a half hours and that was enough. We hit the petting zoo, did the corn pits twice, and spent a ton of time in the corn maze. In the corn maze they have markers with letters on them, so you try to work your way from A to Z as you go through the maze. We completely screwed up the first part and found ourself at the back of the maze while still looking for A. Oops! So we slowed way down, took our time, and found as many letters as we could. We probably got 75% of them? And then everyone was hungry and tired and we headed out for some food. We ended the evening with a hay ride and the hay bale maze. And then showers at home, the corn dust was everywhere!

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Up North

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These three had so much fun this weekend! I wish I would have gotten a picture with Samantha in it too, because they all hung out together and played and enjoyed the cousin time.

We headed up to my brother and sister-in-law’s cabin this weekend. The weather was cloudy and chilly, but we just adjusted our plans a bit. We went for walks, and the girls played a lot of games. They were introduced to Mancala, and even put on a play for us! Perhaps Samantha has a future as a director? We went into town and wandered around a bit, hitting the chocolate and ice cream store, and the coffee shop. Luckily, we snuck in a bonfire and s’mores Friday night because it rained and rained Saturday night!

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This is Jackson, their new puppy. He and Annabelle played a lot. She didn’t know what to make of him at first, but she quickly realized he was her size and the perfect playmate.

Annabelle is very used to a fenced yard, and isn’t known for coming when called. I was worried (and so was Laney!) that she would run off, so we put a leash on her. Except Jackson thought the leash was the BEST tug of war toy! We quickly took it off and crossed our fingers. She did so well! She stayed near their cabin, and the few times she started to wander off, she quickly corrected when I said No! and called her name. I was so proud of her! And so happy I didn’t spend my weekend chasing her through the woods.

It was a fabulous weekend!

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Heat and more heat

I contemplated staying home this weekend since we’ve been gone so much, but the forecast said hot and humid so we headed to the lake. My niece had a softball tournament (champions!) on Saturday, so my brother and his family joined us on Sunday since they had a free day.

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My brother and SIL took Annabelle for a walk while the rest of us swam. Isn’t he a good uncle? The week of boarding has really helped Annie come out of her shell! She let my cleaning guy pick her up on Saturday, and was super friendly with my brother. First time for both! Love.

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The girls’ hair has been short for so long, I’m ecstatic that it’s long enough for me to do braids again! Pippi Longstocking for the win. This is the best hairstyle for swimming for us. It keeps it out of their eyes, and it isn’t a snarled mess when it dries.

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Does Laney have the best cannonball or what??? I was so impressed! My dad and I commented that the girls are SUCH strong swimmers. They swim 2-4 times a week, plus swimming lessons. It’s just amazing how confident they are in the pool.

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Projects

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My parents came up on Saturday and we knocked out two quick, but big projects. First, a new back door! Let’s talk about my old door. At some point, one of the neighbor dogs put two paws through the screen and ripped it. It was uneven and you could see a solid half inch of light at the bottom. This spring the spring that closes it fell off, and the handle had to be tightened once a week in order to actually stay closed. It was sad.

This door! I have a screen I can open again! And a cute little doggy door. It may take Annabelle all summer to figure out the doggy door, but it’s there. (If you hold the flap up a bit she will go out, but she will not come in on her own.) I love it!

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I was going to have the girls pose in the tree house, but then I realized you wouldn’t be able to see them. What I should have done was stand in there and had them take a picture of me, because we raised the roof up high enough that even I can stand up in it! I’m bummed we couldn’t make it bigger, but that would have been a major renovation. The girls are scheming with my mom to get curtains, and I think they may have been talking shelves with my dad. Can you see the hammock seat underneath? My dad figured out a way to hang it up high enough so that when you sit in it, your butt doesn’t hit the ground. The girls have already spent a lot of time in it. I think it will be their go to relaxation/alone time spot this summer.

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Spring Weekends

I love spring weekends. Once summer hits we seem to have plans every weekend, but springtime is free! We did a ton of stuff this weekend, mostly because we had time to and I kept thinking – why not do that?! It felt good to be productive and spontaneous and to be able to say yes.

Saturday morning we headed out of the house to Annabelle’s first dog obedience class. Our class is definitely a mix of big dogs, little dogs, puppies, and older dogs who really could not care less about any of this. (Of course there was a Lucy in our class. She’s a yellow lab and was adorable, though crazy barky.)

Annabelle hasn’t been super socialized, so upon seeing all of these dogs in one room she took one look at me and jumped up into my arms. Despite several other tiny dogs, I was the only one HOLDING their dog. Not a super great start.

Overall, she did okay. She is all about performing for treats, but this will definitely require a lot of work outside of class as well. It was also difficult because Caden and Delaney both wanted to be training her too, and she was a little confused when we all shouted Sit! at her. We’re a work in progress.

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After class we came home and started in on a little yard work. Last fall the leaf guy never made it to my house before the snow arrived, and I’ve been staring at piles and piles of leaves for long enough. I raked and the girls loaded up the wheel barrow. They were enthusiastic helpers at first, but got tired quickly. They hung in there though, and it only took us about an hour to clear the yard of most of the leaves. I came back later and bagged the lawn with the lawnmower to pick up the rest. A clean lawn makes me so happy!

After lunch we went on a bike ride around the circle. Delaney was in the lead, Caden was actually pedaling and keeping up, it was bliss. I was thinking to myself how much I love lazy Saturdays like this, and how awesome it is to have happy bike rides rather than the stress inducing ones of yesteryear. The second trip around Caden was in the lead. We were rounding the (rather) tight last corner back onto our street. Her bike started leaning and she went down. Did I mention my car keys were in her bike basket? And they tumbled perfectly into the storm drain? I could not believe it. I looked everywhere on the street but they were nowhere, so obviously they were in the drain. I told the girls to ride their bikes home and I lay down on the ground staring into the drain trying to figure out how I was going to get my keys out when I couldn’t even see them!

This is a fairly busy corner, and a guy at the stoplight asked if I lost something. When I told him my keys he whipped around, parked, and came to help me. Unbelievable! He was able to lift the storm drain cover off (I couldn’t budge it) so we could get at things. I was about to shove my hand into the water when he said “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” Point taken! I grabbed a stick and seriously, within five seconds I had hooked the leather cord on my key chain. (Thank you daycare for cute crafts that save the day!) I could not believe it. I thanked the guy a million times and biked home.

Delaney was outside, but Caden was nowhere to be found. Delaney quickly told me that Caden decided she needed to be punished and sent herself to her room. Awww. I told her she wasn’t in trouble, but that we were all very lucky. That could have gone the other way so easily.

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Another Week

I’m tempted to not even write about our weekend. We really had no plans, which isn’t good in the spring time when we all want to get out and about. By Sunday afternoon we were driving each other a little bonkers, but we made it through!

I worked from home again on Friday because there was no school, and kicked them outside after lunch. They played outside for about six hours which was amazing! Because from there on, it got colder and colder.

I tried to pull together a playdate for Saturday but no dice. Instead we hit up the cheap movie theater for Paddington. It was cute. For dinner we fried up some sunfish from our Lake Mary fishing last summer. It was so good! I kind of winged it with some cornmeal, rice flour, and a ton of spices. Everyone loved it!

Saturday evening Delaney started complaining that her throat hurt, and right then I knew our Sunday was hosed. Sunday morning I took one look at her tonsils and bundled everyone up for Urgent Care. Luckily there was little to not wait and we were home quickly with another box of popsicles. Out went our plans for church, the library, and a trip to Menards to figure out a new back screen door. Instead we hit the couch and watched Nat Geo Wild shows on On Demand. God bless Dr. Pol.

I love a good homebody weekend in the wintertime, but it’s spring and I’m ready to get out and be social! Unfortunately, I waited too long to make plans. Next weekend, I will do better!

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Weekend!

The weather has stayed solidly in the upper 50’s and 60’s around here, and as I told a coworker, it makes me think all things are possible! I think if you don’t have kids, maybe the snow and cold doesn’t matter as much in regards to running errands but for me, when it’s cold and gets dark out early, it’s just so much harder to get things done. Having it stay light later, and no one has to have snow boots, hats, and mittens on every time we leave the house? YES!

I’ve been on a bit of a mission to find a good gluten free donut. I love donuts and so do the girls, and I’d love to find a coffee shop that serves good donuts that we can all eat. A nice little Saturday outing you know? Last weekend we headed to a coffee shop in the hipster part of town, only to find out they were sold out. This weekend we tried a different coffee shop and I made sure to call ahead. They did indeed have a gluten free donut. It was wrapped in plastic wrap and had clearly been sitting there all week. Like a dumbass I bought it anyway. Ate two bites and tossed it in the garbage. We will try again. I know Birchwood Cafe does an amazing gluten free donut, but they’re always busy and so we haven’t braved that place in years. It’s time to head back.

After our errands we spent some time outside. We put the snowblower in the shed and pulled the bikes and scooters out. We snuck in a quick bike ride, then headed to see Cinderella with some friends. It is such a cute movie! I’ve seen all the variations of that movie and I love them all. I loved the backstory in this one, as well as the fairy godmother. Go see it!

Sunday morning started out at church. Every year the girls have some sort of milestone. Last year I think we helped out during the service? This year they led the Lord’s Prayer. We aren’t necessarily at Sunday school every week, but we try to get there as often as we can. It’s been good to see their relationship with prayer and God evolve as they get older.

After church Caden and I dropped Delaney off at a birthday party, then headed to the library. As she was picking out books, a woman told me they had two therapy dogs coming in that the kids could read to. Wouldn’t you know, one dog was a golden retriever. Caden read her two books while I got my golden fix in. 



 We packed even more into our Sunday and headed out west to celebrate my oldest niece’s birthday. Seventeen. It’s crazy. The cousins ran around while the grown ups talked, then we headed back home again.

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Time to decorate!

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We had zero plans for the weekend. I made some attempts to plan playdates, and almost reached out to another mom to plan a night out, but as we neared the weekend everyone’s cold got worse and with all of the sniffles, it seemed like a better idea to just stay home.

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We decorated the tree and put up all of our Christmas decorations. Since it was warm out, we did the lights outside too. This was the first year the girls were really involved and helped with things. They’ve had a passing interest in it previous years, but this year they were actually helpful and didn’t wander off 10 minutes into it.

I kind of hate decorating the house. It gets so chaotic taking things down and figuring out what to put where. This year that meant taking down both Maddy and Lu’s ashes, as well as their collars and Lucy’s portrait. It was hard, really hard, and I absolutely didn’t see that emotional hit coming. We’ve been talking about Lucy a lot lately, Caden and I seem to feel her loss so intensely these days. I just miss her so much. It made the task that much harder, but it’s done, and I rearranged some things so her portrait could go back up.

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Our tree is beautiful! I feel like we’ve accumulated some really gorgeous ornaments over the years. I’ve bought the girls an ornament each year, and this year they were so excited to find each ornament and put it up. I was even on top of things and bought more beaded garland rope so we have enough for the whole tree, and we found a lighted tree topper that actually works on a fake tree. Sunday morning they both woke up early and just stared at the lights. I love the hazy glow it gives the living room.

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Rollerskating Fiends!

In case you aren’t local, Garth Brooks just finished up 10 concerts in two weeks in Minneapolis. We were lucky enough to get tickets to the Friday early show at the end of his run. My parents drove up and my brother and sister-in-law drove into town and we all headed downtown to find food and drink before the show. I have worked downtown for 14 years and knew of a bunch of different bars we could hit for food. Everything was packed! I thought we had gotten there early enough, but not so much. We found a place at a bar and ordered food and even though it was loud, it was fun to be downtown with my family. The concert was amazing. Like seriously amazing. I’m a small town girl who grew up listening to country, and that concert was like reliving my high school years again. Our seats were behind the stage but incredibly close, so when he did wander around we had a perfect view. So. much. fun.

We hadn’t seen my parents in a bit, so ahead of time I convinced them to stay overnight at our house and spend Saturday with us. We don’t usually have overnight guests, so it was fun! After breakfast my mom and I headed out to run a few errands while Dad and the girls cleaned up outside. We met up for lunch and then headed to the roller rink.

Last spring after we went rollerskating with their elementary school, my dad had commented that he would love to go with us sometime. Saturday was the perfect day since it was cold and snowing.

The girls started out holding onto my hand. They were like baby giraffes with their arms and legs everywhere. My dad quickly rented two of the trainer things so they would have some help. The trainers definitely made it easier on the adults because we just had to skate next to them, rather than trying to help balance them. They gained a lot of confidence and then we started taking the trainers away. Slowly but surely the girls started skating farther on their own until right at the end they both went twice around the circle by themselves without falling!

It was a really fun afternoon. We switched off so we could spend time with both girls (god forbid they skate next to each other for more then 30 seconds). The music was really fun, and it was great people watching. Luckily, most of the skaters were quite good and could maneuver around us slow peeps. My mom commented that it was great exercise, and it was, but I’m guessing the three adults hit the ibuprofen pretty hard on Sunday because my lower back was killing me!

Needless to say, by Sunday we were all exhausted.

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Go Gophers!

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My friends Corinne and Brian tailgate for every University of Minnesota home football game. I can’t remember if this was when we were out in California or when, but we were discussing tailgating and football games and kids and they recommended Gopher games as a great game to bring kids too. TCF Stadium is outdoors, and it’s incredibly family friendly. We were in! Did you know the Gopher colors go perfectly with leopard? Well now you do.

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My parents came to the game as well, since they really wanted to see the new stadium and experience outdoor football. We tailgated with everyone for a bit, then wandered around. It was really sunny, and I needed a baseball hat. As soon as Caden heard we were going shopping she piped up “I need a Gopher hat too!” Surely I couldn’t expect her to wear her Twins hat that didn’t match at all right?

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This is the hat Delaney picked out. The store was mad chaos, and I was trying to find a hat myself, so when she showed it to me I just shook my head and said yes. I thought it looked a little silly but whatever. OMG. This hat brought a smile to my face all day. She would be walking ahead of us and I would see those ears and have to laugh. Or during the game I’d see her animatedly talking to my mom and see the ears bobbing and laughed some more. This hat was a brilliant purchase.

The day was super fun. We had amazing weather, it was so great to see my friends, and we all had a great time. The Gophers even won! They were predicting rain but with the skies cloudless and blue, we didn’t see how that would happen. Sure enough, right as the 3rd quarter started, a few clouds rolled in. Then some more, then it started raining, and then we left. No need to tough out the rain when we’d been there all day already.

We probably won’t hit another game this year, but we are all set with gear for another game next year!

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