Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The babes played with kitchenware:
The toddlers ran wild:
It was a great time all the way to the end wrap up. It was getting a little late - but we made it through the end of the movie with all the children in good spirits still! When Nichole tried to start up her truck the alarm system engaged and wouldn't let her turn on the engine. Earlier I'd moved her truck to the side of the driveway, so I could get out of the garage to grab the movie, and I somehow turned on the alarm system?! Her cousin ended up being called to come over, drive her home to get some different keys with a control for the alarm, bring her back... and they then made it home a little later than planned upon (sorry, Nichole!).
Note to all of you out there that really love your playdates: this is a great way to get them to stay longer. Disable their vehicle!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
They've come a long way, haven't they?! They've more than tripled in weight. Along with the weight increase has come a ton (or two) of personality that fills up their adorable little bodies. We're enjoying the journey and every month is better than the last.
They get into EVERYTHING these days, and nothing delights them more than havoc.
PS The big storm didn't shut down the airport. Anchorage knows how to handle snow. Matt flew out last night for a week in Las Vegas.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Here's a photo taken this evening:
I don't have the official stats yet, but I'm pretty sure today will be one of Anchorage's Top 5 Highest Daily Snowfall dates. Depending on where you live in Anchorage, 11-20" fell.
What did the munchkins think of the snow? Bentley did NOT like it early in the day when it fell on him and his coat and his shoes as he was carried from the car to our house and from the car to the library and back to the car. However, when given the opportunity to shovel snow with his dad, he had a great time and was okay with being snowed on. How contrary of him!
Jackson was loudly indignant about being placed in the mound of snow that had accumulated on the patio table.
Genevieve, our little adventurer, thought it was good fun.
Yesterday evening Kara put together the sand and water table and the picnic table. While she was working on doing that, I let Bentley out the French doors into the back yard. He headed right for the basket ball hoop. He later tried out the slide. He enjoyed himself until he fell and got the knees of his jeans wet. He does not like to be dirty or wet.
Genevieve liked the sand and water table. She has nothing against being wet.
Jackson LOVED the swing. He laughed and grinned. Genevieve had some odd expressions on her face while swinging. Sometimes she looked happy, but other times she looked a little ill.
It was a fun time for everyone, although we should have put coats on the littlest ones. Their hands were frozen when we took them inside. Kara pulled out a hot water bottle to warm them up.
Right after we went inside and put the kids in their warmest sleepers, fire trucks started pouring into the neighborhood. Matt, who was outside doing yard work, went over to check out the action which was two blocks to the west. Next Mark went over with his camera to get a shot of a fire truck for Bentley. Then Matt returned and took Bentley over to see the fire trucks. It was a garage fire that was quickly contained. It was amazing how many fire trucks showed up!
So what do you think we woke up to this morning?! It was a dreary, cloudy day. Then it began to rain. Now it's snowing big, fat flakes. Lots and lots of them. I don't usually mind snow this time of year because it goes away quickly and it's lovely to watch falling, but it's annoying today because the threesome won't be able to enjoy their toys in the back yard. It's just too cold for their little hands. The sand and water table will be a sand and slush table today. BRRRR!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Jackson, however, loves the stairs! He seems to feel they're on the forbidden list of activities (which when I'm not watching closely is a correct assumption), so he gets triple the joy out of tearing off for the stairs. Today he climbed all 2 flights of them at top speed, giggling with glee the whole way. What a clever little guy!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Genevieve attacked her cupcake with gusto, shoving it into her mouth. We're not sure how much she actually ate as a large portion of it ended up in her bib/on the floor/on the high chair/smeared on her face... but she enjoyed herself, and that's what matters!
Jackson surprised me, and refused his cupcake! He tried picking it up a couple times, but the frosting and the whole tactile experience of the cupcake was NOT up his ally. He stared at it for a while, looking dubious at best, and only tried it when we fed it to him. This lack of desire for messiness reminds me of an older brother I know...
In any case, the baking was time well spent as watching the twins interact with their cupcakes provided good clean (hah!) entertainment. :-)
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Anchorage tries really hard to be one of those places where everyone wants to live. Mostly because for 8 months out of the year, people are reminded by the cold, snow, and dark that it's probably not where they want to be. Kids' day here is the break-out session for thousands of unruly children and their parents who suffered through the long winter with them; in other words, the police, army, and fire crews break out into teams to test their battle-preparations and new riot gear.
Bentley and I (Dad) had the chance to partake in this extravaganza. Our first stop of the day was to go to the flight museum out at Lake Hood (the floatplane base at the airport). We detoured on the way to pick up Opa, as he was nearby ... and dad had forgotten the camera. While Bentley was initially agreeable to picking up Opa, Bentley was sure that he had been decieved when we turned off International Airport road to go to Opa's house. My backseat driver yelled and pointed for me, as though I were a foreign cab driver, "Uh-uh NO - ME - fly!", assuring me that he knew a better route. Despite our flag stop, this was the only real unhappiness to the day, I'm happy to say.
None of us had been to the airport museum, but I had heard good things about it. Surprisingly, it's a few hangers of reclaimed (not repaired) aircraft, a few donations from Uncle Ted, and some nice displays regarding war efforts. I particularly enjoyed the large section commemorating the Royal Canadian Air Force and their efforts to protect Alaska during WWII. In any case, Bentley and I took the time to fly the flight simulator (we plan to get one for home practice soon), and he seemed to enjoy the model aircraft roughly the size that he could play with at home. In other words, the full size planes hanging from the ceiling and the helicopters in the 4th hangar just weren't that exciting from a 2 year old's perspective. Bentley did seem to enjoy watching a few planes land and take off on Lake Hood, especially since they still had their skis on. Opa had us check out the small planes parked nearby, and then it was time to drop Opa off and proceed downtown.
Bentley was really hoping to see the firetrucks and go check out their equipment downtown parked next to Grandpa Tim's office. You may have read about a previous run-in with the ladder-truck before. Unfortunately, someone decided to call the fire department and they had to go away with their sirens on just as we were pulling up. Forge ahead we did, and we still got to see a fancy military forklift and four wheeler. I'm not sure what they were doing, but it was exciting to see them move around a pallet of bricks. Well, that's what Bentley said.
The other military exhibit was the Ordnance Response team from Elmendorf AFB. Actually, this was pretty cool. They had the anti-bomb robot out, and a mannequin dressed up in full chemical weapon garb. Little kids (7-12) could put on the full body armor for the munitions disposal team, and get their picture taken. So, 5 more years, and maybe we can do that again. In any case, we learned that mannequins are scary, anti-bomb robots are cool, and the soldiers really like the chance to play with the kids.
Stopping in at the Egan Center with about 6,000 other children and their parents, we checked out just two booths: the Mad Scientist exhibit, where there were the coolest bubble displays, and the booth for the Natural History museum. The lady said the Natural History museum would be free for the day, and that they had dinosaurs, including a T-Rex head. So, we decided to head to mountainview. Since we missed out on the firetrucks, I thought I should do my part and make it up to Bentley.
Just down the hill from downtown is the railroad depot. We drove up and down the rail lines on Post road, looked for heavy equipment, and saw all sorts of COOL stuff. It wasn't long before we were checking out dinosaurs, stuffed Alaskan animals, and a variety of animalia and skeletons, though.
Bentley wasn't so sure about the T-Rex when I pointed out how big his teeth were compared to my head, and the mountain goat was super freaky, but for some reason the wolves were great and the two full-size dinosaur skeletons were of interest. The Eagle and Owls were pretty neat too. Bentley did NOT like: the bear cub, the lion, the human-skeleton, the hawk, the cave-bear, the musk ox (zoo incident), the caribou, and the sea monsters. Oddly, the goat seemed to make the lasting impression, as that was the one animal he told everyone about in the evening.
After 4 fun hours of looking at exhibits, equipment, planes, and trains, we decided to take another hour and check out the animals at the pet store. I think Bentley really likes the colorful birds. Puppies are funny, fish make him curious, gerbils/hamsters/mice just aren't as great as they seem to be in the books, but birds... you don't leave the bird section until he's ready.
So went Kids Day 2008. Next year I think I'll take a stroller... and maybe we'll find the firetrucks FIRST. This was definitely better than a rainy day at the Fair!
Monday, April 21, 2008
What's new around here?
Saturday, April 19, 2008
He's a busy guy.
Who has time to stand around?
Jackson can walk holding on to the little ride-on cars just like Genevieve does. He has done so a couple of times. Genevieve is a little more skilled because she practices. Her mom works with her on pre-walking skills much more than she works with Jackson. Genevieve is a delight to work with. She smiles and laughs and does what you want her to do.
Jackson is not fun to work with. He has noodle knees and usually won't even try to perform. He does not focus on the task at hand. He has his own agenda and crawls away right in the middle of your pep talk. Genevieve would never do that. She likes listening to us. Not so Jackson.
So, I just wanted to set the record straight. Genevieve is not that much more advanced than her twin brother. Jackson can perform when he wishes to. We haven't found the right motivation yet.
First, Jackson showed off his martial arts tiger pose:
Then Genevieve showed the casual resting with a book pose:
And finally, Bentley strikes an investigative what is going on underneath the table pose:
Friday, April 18, 2008
Our afternoon started a little off kilter. Just before dropping the kids off at my house, Kara had taken Bentley to get his hair cut. He had not yet recovered from the trauma when he arrived. She suggested I take some trains with us because he'd been expecting to play with them. I scooped up four trains and some track on my way out the door and added it to the toy bag.
When we arrived I took them out for him to play with. He was excited. He sat on the carpet with his little hoard and guarded it. Jackson wanted a piece of track (or maybe an engine), but Bentley was NOT NOT NOT in the mood to share. He started shrieking hysterically whenever Jackson crawled in his direction. My mother was quite amused by the drama. (It was pretty funny.) I asked Bentley if he wanted to set up his track inside the baby pen so he could play unmolested. He jumped on that offer. This is the first time I recall using the pen to keep the twins OUT.
Another unusual occurrence was that great-grandpa played ball with Bentley. Bentley borrowed a couple of the twins' Fisher-Price balls and he started rolling them down the coffee table. Great-grandpa would catch them and roll them back. Bentley had great fun--I hope that great-grandpa did, too.
A third odd event occurred. (I take the camera out to give you a quick sketch of our typical play date at the great-grandparents and it's not a typical day at all.) I forgot to bring along the second play pen. I momentarily thought about putting all three kids in one play pen to nap, but that just wasn't a serious option. I thought about doing naps in shifts, but that doesn't give me any free time.
I decided to try to get Bentley to fall asleep by taking a nap with me on the couch. It worked! He fell asleep after we read a couple of books. He stayed asleep for quite a while after I slipped off the couch and left him there on his own. (If you recall, he'd had a hard morning, so he really needed some down time.)
What were the twins up to while Bentley played with his trains, with their balls, and then napped? They spent part of their time exploring the living room and another part of it confined to the baby pen. Jackson kept trying to escape the living room, but that's not allowed, so he was captured and returned repeatedly. Genevieve attacked the plants by the windows. Jackson read a magazine; the grand-parents have a large stack that needs whittling down and the twins help out every time they come to visit.
I fed them. There are no photos of that because I didn't have enough hands to contain the two babies, let alone one to take photos. To do so would have meant baby food everywhere. Since there is no high chair at my parents' home, it's hard enough to keep them still long enough to shovel the baby food in. I gave up trying to feed both at the same time and fed them one at a time. They took a nap together without too much protesting.
I attempted to get a nice photo of my mom with all three children. I bribed Bentley with a piece of Alpia chocolate to stand still. He took the chocolate, but he didn't stand still long enough for me to focus and click. Jackson meanwhile was doing his best to squirm out of his great-grandma's hold. My mom laughed at my attempts.
It was a good Wednesday. Great-grandma had her time with great-grandbabies and ran her errands. Kara had a few free hours to do with as she liked. She had lunch with friends and then ran lots of errands. I encourage her to stay home and read or nap, but she almost always runs errands. If she stays home, she paints the bathroom or hallways. Silly mommy! Free time is for playing or sleeping, not working.