The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Pictures to go with the recap

We are working on our bun skills for dance class. With her hair just a bit shorter, it’s tough, lots of fly aways. My first bun attempt was waaaay off center. I would love to blame the antsy child, but I have a feeling it was my fault!

We grew up out in the country so as a kid, I didn’t really have anyone to play with most of the time. I used to go out to the tree grove portion of our yard and make “salads” from the grass and weeds. A chef before my time! Oddly, the girls love to do this too. They tear up the herbs, flowers, and hostas around the deck and make birthday cakes or whatever dish they’re little imaginations come up with. I love it! I was trying to get pictures of them doing this and Laney was not amused. Thus, her angry face.
* I’m anxious to view this picture on my work screen. On my home laptop it looks super washed out, but I can’t tell if I overexposed it, or if it’s my new laptop.

I brought my camera to the zoo because if I don’t, there will for sure be some perfect moment I won’t get to capture. If I do bring it, all I seem to get are the same pictures I already have. I was trying to get some different perspectives, but I think it was kind of a fail. Either way, Caden and the camels.

They had brushes for the goats which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. The girls loved the brushes and got very into it. Caden wanted to brush every goat there, including the ones inside the barn in the “refuge” area. She didn’t seem to understand those goats were actually trying to get away from tiny people like her!

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No kangaroos

Sunday morning as we headed out to the zoo we covered what animals we would and would not be seeing. No elephants and no kangaroos, but there would be cows and horses. The entire time we were there Caden kept asking where they kangaroos were. Poor kid was disappointed.

It was a cool morning so a lot of the animals were sleepy which is not fun. We zipped past most of them and headed for the farm animals. The goats are always our favorites. This guy wanted to eat my camera strap.

I try not to dress the girls alike anymore (although we have a lot of matching summer outfits) but when we’re out and about I’ll do it because it makes for easy spotting. With bright purple sweatshirts and hot pink pants, we never lost sight of these two.

Not all of the goats are nice so we picked out a few and petted those. There were a few baby goats that were adorable but I was never able to get a decent shot of them. Next zoo trip I need to bring my 18-55mm lens. With the 50mm I was constantly backing up to get the shot, generally losing the shot by the time I was where I wanted to be.

Despite this being our third year with our zoo membership, there are still things we haven’t done. This time we went to the dolphin show! Both girls were super psyched.

The dolphin on the right is 47 years old! They said most dolphin trainers in the US have trained with him at some point in their career.

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The Good Day

I’ve noticed over the last few weekends that we have one really good day and one really bad day every weekend. Last weekend Saturday was a good day, with my parents up and the excitement of new beds. Sunday was a crash from that high. This weekend I made the mistake of letting the girls go to town on their Valentine’s candy. I didn’t ration it, I just kind of wanted to be done with it. Caden ate some Friday night, but then polished off a bunch Saturday morning. When she refused breakfast I told her we were throwing away all of her candy. She gathered it up and willingly threw it away. Even she knew she’d had too much! The sugar crash lasted all day.

But Sunday was an awesome day. We headed to the zoo with Amanda and the 4-year-old son of one of her friends. The girls have been asking to go to the zoo for weeks. We hit the African trail and Caden was beyond thrilled to see her favorite pink flamingos.

We spent a lot of time looking at fish. We sat for most of the show at the tropical fish tank, and then hit the shark tank. I love the sharks. No matter how many times we see them, it’s always a bit of a shock to be watching little fish and then bam! A huge shark swims by.

I wanted to swing into the shoe store to look for something for Laney to wear in Florida, so we headed to PF Chang’s for lunch. After our food arrived and the three kids tucked in with their kid chopsticks, I looked at Amanda and said “Two three-year-olds and a four-year-old behaving impeccably. This is hard work paying off!” The kids were awesome, ate so well, and impressed both of us with their chopstick skills. The shoe store had nothing for Lane, but I realized when we got home that she had two pairs of ked type shoes that would work fine, so we’re good there.

And now I also know not to let them nap until 4:30 or it will take them forever to fall asleep at night.

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We go see the animals?

I made the mistake of telling the girls we were going to the zoo days before we were going. I wasn’t sure if we were going to go on Saturday or Sunday, but I knew for sure we’d make it at some point during the weekend. All day long on Saturday all I heard from Delaney was “Mommy we go to the zoo? We go see the animals?” She was so excited to go and kept talking about the animals she wanted to see.

The nice thing about them being excited was that there was a little hustle in their step Sunday morning and we actually got out of the house mostly on time. At 9:30am on Sunday morning, we had the zoo almost to ourselves. I think most people were either at church, or their outing for the day was a pumpkin patch or apple orchard. It was Awesome. We had exhibits to ourselves! It was so nice to be able to get up close and not fight any crowds. And, the animals were especially frisky. Maybe because it wasn’t so hot? The sea otter played with us. He would follow your hand and swim back and forth if you ran with him. The girls and I were laughing he was so freaking adorable. The grizzly bears were in a similar mood. Swimming and playing and splashing each other.

The girls love chickens. Any time they see one (even a plastic one) they say “Cock a doodle doo!”

We spent a lot of time at both playgrounds. It was so nice out I just let them play and play and play. It helped that there was some seriously good people watching at the playgrounds.

We also spent a lot of time with the tigers. Maybe 20 minutes? And they were sleeping the whole time! But there was a bench and tiger paw bones and it was all terribly interesting to them, so that’s where we hung out.

They really wanted to see the fishies, but the tropical fish are in the middle of one of the indoor trails, and we had spent so much time on the playground that we didn’t have time to hit them. Instead, we got some snacks and I told them they had to stay in their stoller, and we hit the shark tank again.

I love the sharks. They are just so intimidating, even though all they’re doing is swimming on by.

As soon as we got into the car Delaney said “Mommy we go to the zoo?” I was like we were just there! So clearly, we’ll be returning soon. I asked her what her favorite animal was that we saw that day.

“We didn’t see any giraffes.”
“We didn’t see any lions either. Caden, what was your favorite animal?”

Maybe we need to hit the Como Zoo instead, where they actually have lions and giraffes?

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All By Myself

We haven’t been to the zoo since April, which is a crime. The zoo is easier when someone comes with us, so when I’m thinking of things to do on the weekends, it’s not the first thing that comes to mind. I finally decided to take them by myself because if it went well, it would be a good outing for us.

The nice thing about being the only adult was that I didn’t have to stop for every animal. Some animals are boring. All they do is sleep, so what’s the point? Instead we could zoom to the animals that the girls like.

We took the BOB stroller, but I didn’t strap the girls in. We had talked on the drive there that we would be riding in the stroller, but would also get out to see the animals. They were awesome about it. Because they weren’t strapped in, they could get in and out on their own. For the animals that they needed to be higher for, I lifted them up. Plus, we were there early enough that there was plenty of room for us to park the double stroller in the back, and then get closer to the exhibit. I purposely didn’t bring my big camera so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it.

But, not having a purse meant I had no cash. And everything is cash there. We couldn’t feed the goats and we couldn’t get ice cream. Ugh. I felt bad because it was hot, so I totally would have done ice cream. Luckily, the stores in the main building take credit cards so we could finally get some.

Favorite animal of the trip? The sharks. Both of the girls went crazy for them! We never seem to make it into Discovery Bay, but since it was hot out, I was looking for some inside stuff to do. It was perfect! We’re going back next weekend to do the other indoor trail, the monorail, and to see the sharks again.

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Como Zoo

Because we’re members at the Minnesota Zoo, that’s usually where we go. But, Como Zoo got a new polar bear habitat this year, so on Saturday we went to check it out. We had heard that the crowds were crazy, so Amy and I were a little nervous but lucky for us, it rained off and on which kept a lot of people away.

We got a late start for 101 reasons, but were right on time for the Sparky the Sea Lion show. We had great seats!

Amy and I really enjoyed the show, but I’m not sure how much the girls got out of it. I thought they would be more excited about all of the tricks, but we didn’t get much for reactions from them.

Right after the show ended it started raining so we headed indoors to eat lunch. I love the BOB, but the BOB is not meant to go between tables. I would say people understood but I don’t think they did, so we ate and got out of there. None of us cared about the rain, so we put up our hoods and headed out to see the animals. Luckily there is an indoor part to the polar bears (of which I took zero pictures). One was sleeping and one was pacing. We really were hoping the pacing polar bear would swim in the water, but he just kept pacing. Of course not everything is indoor, so we got a little wet checking out the zebras and the giraffes.

The nice thing about Como is that their enclosures are smaller, so the animals are closer. I love the Minnesota Zoo and they do have much bigger habitats, but a lot of times the animals are so far away, the kids can’t see them. I was worried Como’s enclosures would be too small and I would be sad for the animals, but they really weren’t. Obviously it works because Caden remembered the zebras, giraffes, and the monkeys and talked about them all weekend!


Farm Babies!

April is Farm Babies month at the zoo. The girls favorite part of the zoo is the farm animals, so I was super excited for this. Have to say, I was a little disappointed. I thought there would be a lot more babies. The only baby we really got to pet was the baby goat. I didn’t even see any baby chicks!

The grizzly bear exhibit is always a favorite of mine. But, I have no luck with it. If the bears are out and about, it’s crowded. If we’re the only ones there, the bears are sleeping. This time, we were the only ones there and the bears were playing! It was awesome.

This picture fairly exemplifies our morning at the zoo. Caden was happy, happy, happy and walking everywhere. Delaney had to be carried and my dad was pushing an empty stroller.

The farm exhibit is at the very back of the zoo, so it’s a long walk to get there. The playground was too tempting, so we stopped to run around a bit. Laney went down the slide.

And Caden did some climbing.

Once we made it back to the farm, the goats were first on our list. Caden was super excited to see them again.

Obligatory tractor picture. We brought my cousins Sam and Gage along. They acted cool, but I know deep down they had lots of fun!

They had some bunnies there, but they were kind of hiding in their cages. We also checked out the baby cows. They were cute, but fenced off so we couldn’t get close.

And another family picture!

There was an Easter bunny there with not much of a line, so we hopped right in there with the girls while my mom set up our picnic lunch nearby. Caden started trying to get down and my dad said “She wants to see the bunny right now!” and I said “I’m not sure that’s the reaction she’s having. She looks a little frantic.” Caden wanted nothing to do with that bunny. She could not put distance between herself and the bunny fast enough! Laney sat next to him, but wasn’t sure about him either.

The bummer about the zoo is that there is always so much we don’t have time to do. Even if we get there at 9:00 when they open, we always run up against nap time too quickly. Some day we’ll see the dolphins and ride the monorail!



We’ve been doing more and more things without the stroller. The girls are very used to walking into places holding your hand, and they’re generally well behaved while doing it. It’s nice not to have to drag out the stroller for every stop we make. I made plans to meet up with a coworker at the zoo last weekend and decided to try it strollerless. The indoor trail that we’d likely go on is difficult with a stroller anyway, so I decided to go for it. It went really well! It was fun to watch the girls navigate their freedom, although most of it was navigated at a dead run.

Still not tall enough!

Delaney was not so sure about this bamboo “door”.

The plan was to take the first monorail, but with all of the running, I wasn’t thrilled with the prospect of containing them for any length of time, so instead we hit the park. The last time I was at the zoo this park wasn’t finished. It’s so nice! I was worried the girls would be too young, but they did awesome. My coworker commented that my girls are very athletic. I hadn’t really thought about it, but they are. They run, they climb, they slide, they are all over the place.


Feeding the goats

The nanny and the backup nanny (aka favorite cousin aka AJ) took the girls to the zoo today. I sent along the video camera and asked them to get some video of Caden and her goats. There was some technical confusion, but they finally captured it. Although this time around she seemed almost more fascinated by the goat food machine than the goats. I do love how she bonked her head on it, but it didn’t even phase her.