Friday, November 30, 2007

Fun from Thanksgiving weekend

Since Matt and my Father had last Friday off, it struck me as the perfect time to move forward with installing our new entry way light. I'm sure they didn't think it was a PERFECT use of a day off, but they were both great sports! Our ceiling is quite high, so we had to rent scaffolding:

My Dad took down the old light:

The guys put up the new light (500 watts of blinding halogen brightness!):

And, of course, Bentley supervised the workers:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy 5 months, twinks!

The twins are now officially 5 months old! It's hard to believe that in just a few more short weeks they will have been with us for half a year already!.

Genevieve and Jackson are definitely past the newborn stage. They are awake a much greater portion of the time. In fact, sometimes I wish they would sleep a little more during the day.. :-).

They are more mobile. Genevieve flips over and manages to scoot in circles. Jackson doesn't flip over as often lately, but he is a capable circle scooter!

They are working on their fine motor skills. They examine their hands and feet, clasp their hands together, and are doing a great job with grabbing onto toys.

They are becoming quite the communicators. Genevieve loves to have long conversations. Jackson is more of a grunter, but he has been showing off his lovely voice this past week.

They are interacting more. Once in a while they smile at eachother and have conversations (which they quit as soon as the camera comes out), more often they accidentally connect while shaking their limbs around!

Bentley still enjoys their company. Genevieve does get more of the attention but it's not a huge majority of it anymore. I have a new theory on why he likes her best - she has a much larger soft spot on her head and he's drawn to it.. :-)

We're looking forward to more mobility and communication to come in the next month, and so impressed with how much the babies have already learned. Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Christmas Wish List

Grandma Vicki recently sent her son Matt a Lego catalog. Matt is a big fan of Legos and owns thousands upon thousands of the little building units which might make one think he owns enough already, but there are always interesting new sets being added to the Lego line. Matt has been perusing the catalog with Bentley. Bentley has some definite favorites. Tonight while we were visiting he picked up the catalog so he could show us his current favorite--a big airplane.

I asked Matt if he could build this airplane from the Legos he already owns, but alas he said no. Since Bentley isn't even two years old yet, I doubt he'll be getting this Lego set for Christmas, but a boy can always wish.

Are they identical?

I often get a series of 3 questions, and it's most often in this order:

1) oh how cute!! are they twins? (yes, yes, they are - what else would they be?!)

2) is it a boy and a girl? (congrats, yes, you figured out the pink and blue theme!)

3) are they identical? (to which I normally just say no and leave it at that)

Today I had a follow up to the typical 3. The teenager started with the normal 3, but after the "no, they're not identical" he added "how do you tell them apart, how do you know which is the boy and which is the girl?". I don't think he was joking - I wasn't sure how to answer so I didn't. I was still chuckling over that one when I had someone else tell me that the twins look exactly alike, and am I positive they're not identical? Keep in mind this individual knows that Genevieve and Jackson are different genders...

People. You have to love them. :-)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Bentley's Artistic Photography

Bentley took this picture on his Opa's cell phone last night. I think he has a future in the production of modern art, don't you?

Can you tell which baby this is a picture of? :-)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

New Words from Bentley

Bentley still hasn't really "taken off" with the English language, but he is working hard on new words. This past month has brought us: "night-night", "owl", "what's that", a interesting take on "one, two three" several different tones for "NO" (as well as the addition of "no more"), B-I-N-G-O (sometimes it's just B-O, B-O though!) and a variety of attempts at imitating animal noises in one of his current book favorites. More words soon, I hope!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Coddled? Not Me!

Back in August we reported that Bentley (almost 19 months at the time) had recently learned to hold his own bottle. Jackson (4 1/2 months) is already holding his own bottle. It's a necessary survival skill if you're a twin.

A lazy morning

Some days it's hard to get going in the morning, this morning was one of those days. Jackson fell asleep while waiting for his bath:

Genevieve, who has been practicing her back to tummy rolling with great dedication, keeps rolling herself into locations it's hard to get out of. While she was waiting for me to come rescue her (i.e. screaming for help while I was on the phone) she fell asleep, trapped between the bars on her toys. Unfortunately (for the picture!) she woke up when I flashed her!

And where was Bentley during all the lazy fun upstairs? Sleeping! He's either going through a growth spurt or laying awake in bed all night, because he's been having an awfully hard time waking up in the mornings this past week. Today he didn't want to emerge from bed until almost noon!

It's a rough life, but someone has to live it...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Genevieve & the Mirror

Genevieve was quite delighted to meet the baby in the mirror today. It took me a few minutes to get with the program and run for the video recorder, at which point I had already missed the eye batting. I promise I'm not lying! Genevieve was laying on the charm, and I swear I saw her bat her eyes at the beautiful baby in the mirror. :-) Although I didn't capture that moment, the moment below isn't bad!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

America's Top (Baby) Model

Although it might not be politic for a grandparent to admit, I will confess that I thought (and I'm not the only one close to the twins that had this thought) that Jackson was just a tad bit cuter than Genevieve. Jackson can produce the most astounding frowns--truly heart-wrenching. He has the cutest little (pointy!) chin and the biggest grin which he readily shares. He even smiles large in his sleep.

Genevieve, on the other hand, in her early infanthood was given to solemnity in her expressions. She neither frowned well or smiled big. She would mostly scrutinize you with her somber eyes. And then there was her double (sometimes triple) chin.

All-in-all I figured Jackson had America's Top (Baby) Model locked up. But then Genevieve came into her own. She started producing some truly fascinating expressions of her own. She can quirk her eyebrows one at a time. I can't do that. It's very cute. She's perfected the subtle smile. She's just down right ADORABLE!

So Jackson, you've got stiff competition now. Genevieve can hold her own and I anticipate that the crown will be passed back and forth daily. Way to go, girl!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

Mark and I were sorting through photos of the grandchildren tonight and came across this one from November 6:

It's not easy to get all three to look at the camera simultaneously, but sometimes the shot is cute even without full cooperation. Here's another shot of the threesome from November 8:

It's pretty clear to me now that our Christmas photo shoot last Sunday was doomed. I wonder how long it will take for Bentley to get back into the group photo groove?!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Young Architect

Bentley built this fine structure tonight while we adults watched Shrek 2. He did not have any help at all from us.

It has a certain whimsicalness to it that reminds me of Gaudi's architecture. If the Mega Blocks weren't so harshly rectangular, you'd all see the similarities, I'm sure. I wonder if someone sells Gaudi Blocks? I'm off to google it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Underage Drivers

This evening the grandchildren once again entertained us with incredible feats. As you know (if you read this blog regularly) we are always on the lookout for new and interesting photo ops. A couple of days ago I tried posing Genevieve on Bentley's ATV. Mark took an okay photo, but nothing exceptional. She looked like she was draped over the handlebars--which she was. (She's only four months old!)

This evening I decided to give the ATV another try. We asked Bentley to pose with the twins on the ATV. He was reluctant at first (he pushed Genevieve off), but then he acquiesced and posed with both Genevieve and Jackson. (Oh, that he had been so cooperative on Sunday during the Christmas photo shoot.)

Then we put Genevieve on the ATV by herself. I posed her and then stepped back (to get out of camera range) and suddenly the ATV started going--she had inadvertently put her forearm on the power button. The ATV doesn't move very fast, so she didn't fall off, but Bentley started shrieking. He doesn't like vehicles that move on their own and I don't think he credited Genevieve with being in control of the ATV--and he was right because she sure wasn't steering. She ran right into Bentley's Fisher-Price Little People Playground which elicited another round of shrieks from him.

I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard. I asked Kara to get her little camera and take a short video. Later this week we will post the video. After Genevieve rode the ATV a few times, we let Jackson have a turn at it.

He paid more attention to where he was going, but wasn't any more capable of steering than she was.

I placed both twins on the ATV at the same time, but the baby in back had a hard time staying on.

After Genevieve and Jackson demonstrated their driving skills, Bentley wowed us all with a new driving skill of his own. He took his little car (nonmotorized) and rode it down the first flight of steps--seven stairs. No joke! I'm not making this up. (I wish I were.) We have no photos, of course, because we were scrambling to get to him. It was a very frightening moment. We all feared that he might have broken his little neck--but, no, he managed to stay on the vehicle all the way down to the landing. (He's very athletic, as we've mentioned a few times.) His nose was a little red like it had smashed into something, but he wasn't upset at all--until his mom took his car away. That made him cry.

Here's a photo of the car he rode down the stairs:

The baby gate at the top of the stairs will be locked ALL THE TIME now. Crazy kid!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

He looks harmless....

Here's Bentley, earlier this evening, studying a book on reverence:

He looks like a pretty harmless kid, doesn't he?! This evening he really seemed to have it in for Genevieve. My parents tell me he's a sweet kid, and he doesn't know what he's doing... but after he went for her head the 3rd time I'm not so sure! :-) First he nonchalantly walked up to her and raised his foot over her head. I managed to intervene with a gentle push, and Genevieve escaped. Second go around, an hour or two later, he used a football and lobbed it straight at her while she was sleeping. I wasn't quite quick enough and it got her! To be fair, it was an o-ball football and light weight. And he was probably just showing off his excellent throwing arm, which improved by about 400% after an hour long skill session with his Opa! Lastly, third time around, he jumped up on the couch and used his head to slam into her head. He's a menace, sometimes! An energetic, joyful, and happy menance - I'll give him that much. I guess some days are like this?! I reassured Genevieve that it won't be long before she can fight back. Perhaps that's inappropriate parenting, we'll see...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Goodbye, Dr. Brown!

The twins have been using Dr. Brown bottles, which in theory reduce colic and gas. In actuality, I believe they are some diabolical person's clever scheme to make more money on bottles AND drive parents crazy at the same time. 7 bottle parts per bottle is a lot to keep track of! Because they worked for the twins, we used them - and I own 60 or so of them. We're now moving on to disposable liner bottles, and we're happy to bid Dr. Brown farewell!

Sunday, November 11, 2007


We who love living in Alaska love snow. Usually we have plenty of it by this time in November, but this year we've seen little of the white stuff until this weekend. Finally it arrived. It's so beautiful. The outdoors is lovely beyond compare, but rather cold. (Beauty always has its price.)

Today we took Bentley on our Sunday afternoon walk. His mom made sure he was dressed for the adventure. He was wearing a winter parka and new (somewhat large) snow boots. It took him a while to find his stride, but when he did he ran laughing through the snow. He loved our time outdoors.

Photo Session

Earlier this week Kara requested that her father take a photo for her to use in her Christmas letter. This afternoon we tried to fulfill her request. Here's how the photo session went:

Notice that Bentley is in only one of the photos. He would not work with us. We didn't have much better luck with the twins solo. Genevieve was either eating her dress or grabbing at the Christmas tree. Jackson was the most cooperative and his reward was having a boxed modem fall on his head. It's a good thing Kara started this project early because it might take us from now until Christmas to get a good photo.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Stealthy Genevieve

I have to admit, I've been a little concerned about Genevieve's lack of interest in physical activity. I think she's been trying to deceive me though... I posted months ago that she rolled over - and it did happen - but it hasn't happened since. Until today! And, the clever gal that she is, she wanted to one up her brother. Genevieve rolled from her back unto her tummy, then back over. Not once, but twice! She wanted to be sure we noticed she's perfected some new baby trickers. :-)

Friday, November 09, 2007

3 of my favorite people

I tricked Matt into holding both babies at the same time by pushing Genevieve at him while he was distracted by Jackson... :-)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Bentley's Art Project

This past weekend Bentley and I went on an excursion to a toddler craft fair at a local church. I know I was being a bit optmistic thinking he would participate as he's still a bit on the young side, but I decided to give it a try anyway for the sake of new experiences.

It took me almost 30 minutes to drag him away from the basketball hoop in the front room... he was enthralled. I tried reminding him we have a hoop at home - but this one looked different, it had different balls, and it had lots of other kids around it, too. I couldn't compete with my logical arguments.

I did finally convince him to check out the different craft projects. He was interested in watching a number of them, but not too interested in getting involved - except for at the bookmark booth! Bentley made a bookmark for his Dad, and it was funny to see how adamant he was about the particular layout of his collage items. I was in charge of glueing them down and ended up scolded a few times when I wasn't paying close enough attention to layout. :-)

Without further ado, here's the masterpiece:

(I tried to dissuade him from throwing an alphabet letter in with the geometric shapes, but his artistic passion wanted nothing to do with my advice!)

Manly in Pink

Jackson is not allowed to wear pink clothing. However, every once in a while he finds himself swaddled in a pink blanket because it's the nearest blanket and his caregivers are just too tired to hunt around for a nonpink one. I think pink looks great with his skin tones!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

More Ball Fun

I purchased Bentley a Baby Farm Friends Bowling set recently. Now we're trying to teach him to bowl the ball at the animal pins. Sometimes his bowling form is pretty impressive:

Other times he prefers his own style (which would get him kicked out of a bowling alley in short order!):

And then there is his other new ball trick. He likes to use his music stick as a golf club. Or so it seemed to me. His father believes it's pool he's playing. Matt said that when Bentley goes to Matt's dad's house they let him up on the pool table to practice his game. I have to admit that his grip is more that used with a pool cue than a golf club.


No, I don't want breakfast.
No, I don't want lunch.
No, I don't want dinner.

What part of no don't you understand?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

78 days until tropical delight!

We booked tickets to visit family in Florida today! Genevieve was excited, I'm sure, to model some warm weather baby clothes for me today. Doesn't she look thrilled?!

Play time

I read a great tip online about using a breakfast tray for toys with the bumbo seats. I'm not completely sure the twins are digging it yet, but Bentley is enjoying sibling play time!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Tormenting Bentley

Yup, we adults were at it again--trying to force food on the young one. We are all concerned about his disinterest in food. More often than not at meal time he refuses to eat. We offer him food many times a day. We offer him a wide variety. Sometimes he condescends to eat--but it might be a small bowl of red pepper pieces. Sounds healthy, but, quite frankly, there are dismally few calories in red peppers.

He has plenty of energy and he is quite happy, but his growth has stalled out the past six months. So we are all food pushers. This is his latest response to our food pushing. First he will emphatically tell you "No way!". Then he will get down on the floor and push his nose into the ground. Pretty dramatic!

Photo Magic

Here are some of our latest, greatest photos that show Genevieve and Jackson seemingly performing feats well beyond the average four month old.

(These photos have not been extensively edited, just very carefully staged--and, of course, our models are exceptional to work with!)