Monday, August 31, 2009

Toddler Bunkbed

Bentley demonstrates his idea of a bunk bed. Jake is not pleased with the arrangement.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Are they ready for piano lessons??

Okay.... maybe not the most HIGH action video out there... but: they are cute. And their music sounds just as good as half of what I hear on the radio. And they're cute. :-)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Slide Love

Now that our sunny weather is starting to draw to a close, Geneveive is FINALLY willing to give the park slides a chance. Figures!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Words of Babes...

Some of the cute phrases my children have uttered lately.

"I intend to make a blue and a green pumpkin"!
Intend? That kid uses interesting words!

"Dad, how about you just think about it for now, okay?"
Learning, young, ways to be a little more clever with his requests!

"Mommy, take that bad Batman balloon away. It's scaring me!"
Isn't she articulate??!

Well... I don't have any great Jake expressions. BUT - Jake does have the cutest phrase of all:


It's all about how he says it though. He drawls it out with just the right lilt on the end and a bit of a questioning tone. We're still trying to capiture it on video. He'll say it over and over in response to statements we make. He also enjoys the question "Why". All the time.

I love these kids!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cousin Rachel

You may remember Bentley's 1st Love, I posted about her back in January! You can go here for a refresher, if you need to.

Bentley (& Jake & Viva!) were thrilled to have Rachel return for another visit! Rachel was here for just about three weeks, and the kids enjoyed every minute of their time with her. They are, in fact, lobbying for another long summer visit (2010? Hint, hint hint Rachel!).

They enjoyed watching her put on her makeup, helping her pick her clothes, covert surveillance of her friends when they'd come over to see her, eating her food with her, playing and reading with her.... lots of fun!

Rachel even has the distinction of being the first non-grandparent babysitter to watch all 3 of them. Lucky her, right?!

Thanks for coming, Rachel!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Some Hawaii Pictures!

Matt & I had the chance to go to Hawaii (Maui) for our 10th Wedding anniversary last week, thanks to the grandparents who kept the children under control and safe here at home while we were gone!

Just a few pictures! :-)

Our hotel:

The view from our balcony (no zoom, we were really that close to the beach!):

Us & the gorgeous backgrounds:

Some of just us!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Matt!

There was another birthday at our place today, the father of the children is 1 year away from 30! Not that I like to tease him about that or anything.

Here are 10 things that we love about Daddy:

He is...

1) always up for a trip to the park, or
2) always ready for any type of outdoor adventure
3) a great book reader and does the night time stories every night when he's in town
4) happy the kids stay up so late and get to spend more time with him, instead of heading to bed just an hour or two after he gets home from work
5) very willing to give the kids the majority of his free time on nights and weekends
6) a great worker! He goes to work every day so we can stay home and play
7) very good at "date nights" with the kids, they all get all the time alone they want with Dad
8) always buying treats and books for his favorite little people
9) great at giving piggy back rides
and, last but not least,
10) an excellent diaper changer & child herder (okay, okay - maybe the kids don't care, but I do!!!)

There are, of course, many other things we love about Daddy. These are just a few that come to mind right now!

We love you! Happy Happy Birthday!

Talking with Toddlers

We're standing on the entryway rug.

Viva: There's a bug, Grandma!

Grandma: No, it's a small rock from outdoors.

Bentley: No, it's a booger.

Grandma: Why do you think it's a booger?

Bentley: It's green.

Uh, okay...end of that conversation. I did not inspect said object to determine if I was right or he was right. Maybe Viva was right?

*** *** *** ***

Grandma: Why is Jake screaming?

Bentley: He was banging his cars on the gate downstairs. I told him that was a no no.

Grandma: Did you do something to him to make him stop?

Bentley: I didn't do anything. I was just teasing him.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Painting w/Flowers!

The kidlets made Grandma, and her twin, some lovely and artistic (if I do say so) art birthday cards a couple weeks ago. We used clover blossoms as our paintbrushes. Bentley was very entertained, Viva was moderately amused, and Jake? I was lucky to get one page of art out of him to use for our cards. That's how it goes sometimes though!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I'm not sure when Bentley learned his colors. It wasn't that long ago since he's only three and half and he didn't start talking much until he was two. I don't remember how long we had to grill him before he was color perfect. It must not have been that long or I would remember, right?

We are currently working on teaching Jake and Viva their colors. For quite some time now if asked what color something is, they will respond with blue? Green? Pink? Red? They don't usually get the color right, but they do list a color. Why is that? How do they know which words are colors?

Viva's favorite answer is pink and Jake's favorite answer is blue. Sunday when I quizzed them on their colors, I thought they were making progress. Viva got five out of six colors right. Jake didn't do as well (four right)--the color purple left him speechless. He never gets green right. He calls it blue.

Today they did less well on their color quiz. *sigh* Neither one of them knows the color yellow. It's not in their recall vocabulary. It's not a big deal. If they aren't color-blind, they will eventually learn their colors. In the meantime, they are quite amusing with their responses.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Beautiful Ones

As a grandparent I'm not only allowed, but I'm expected to wax lyrical on the good looks of my grandchildren. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I'll let this photo speak for me:

Aren't they lovely, cute and adorable? (Be sure and click on the photo so you get a larger screen version of it so you can fully appreciate their absolute adorableness.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Five Days

Kara and Matt have escaped to Hawaii for five days to celebrate their 10th (!) wedding anniversary. Mark and I have been left in charge of Bentley, Jake, and Viva. It is now Saturday afternoon and our time alone with the kidlets is half over. We are all doing well. No major breakdowns, although Jake and Bentley have screamed for their mother at naptime and at bedtime. (Do they really think she would have allowed them to stay up longer?!) Once they get over their little tantrums, they go to sleep and we are all happy. Viva has been sleeping through the night, which was a concern that I had. She sometimes joins her parents in their bed in the middle of the night. What will I do if she wakes up and wants them in the middle of the night? I’ve already made the mistake of allowing Bentley free access to our bed and Jake is there now and again. Sorry Viva—I have to draw the line! (I just hope my resolution isn’t put to the test.)

What have we been doing together while the little ones’ parents play on a sunny beach in Maui? We have not enjoyed much sunshine, that is for sure. It has rained for the past three days and so it’s been too wet to go to the park or playground. Opa took Friday off from work and he and the boys ran errands in the morning while Viva was at Grandma Karen’s. I enjoyed a couple of hours of free time. I read. (I probably should have been sorting boxes in the garage, but I didn’t.) We’ve been hanging out at the house doing the usual—cars, pegs, books, puzzles, train videos, more cars, kitchen time, tea time, dancing, and yet more cars. Cousin Rachel (who will be featured in a post soon) has been entertaining us for a couple of hours every day. She’s a big hit with the children. Bentley is, once again, in love. And, of course, the children spend time with great-grandma—begging breakfast bars off her and cornering her to read books with them. Viva loves to race her great-grandma to the reclining chair in the family room. Hardly a fair race, but, fortunately, Viva’s good about giving up her winning position.

We as a group visited the Chevy dealership twice. Once to drop my truck off and once to pick it up. Bentley was rather distressed when we left the truck there. The children liked looking at the new vehicles and racing around the sidewalks outside the showroom. Between their colds and Bentley’s flu and the rain, they haven’t had enough outside time the past two weeks. They can get a little wild indoors. It’s going to be a loooong winter with a three (turning four) year old and twin two year olds. Maybe I should book a trip to Hawaii?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Few Words From the Photographer

The Toddling Trio's photographer feels like summer is wearing him down. The last few weeks have been busy with numerous house guests, yard work, painting, shelf building and trying to find time to take pictures of the kidlets. I must admit that the photos have not been kept up at the usual pace or with the usual fine tuning. Additionally, the string of continuous days of photographs for each child has been broken -- several times in the last month. Taking pictures is great fun but also time consuming while trying to fit summer projects in.

As much as the blog is also a journal for the kids, I thought a few stats for future reference might be interesting. The approximately 1450 pictures selected so far for 2009 represents somewhere between 5 to 10% of the pictures taken. Kidlet life to date selected picture count exceeds 7600 (if you do the math that is A LOT of pictures at 5%, but fortunately the readers have Kara and Julia to thank for selecting just their favorites of favorites for blog posts)! One could argue that the number of photographs should probably be far less, but they are so cute that on some days it is hard to choose what to cull :). From playgrounds, to forests, from driveways to beds, there are many opportunities to catch them as they change day by day. The children are growing up so quickly, yet I hope that one day they can look back on this time of innocence and joy and know that their wonderful spirits are enjoyed by so many. It is an enjoyable pursuit attempting to capture them in ways that express who they are and what they mean to their family around them. I hope they don't mind their Opa running around them so much with a camera -- maybe someday they'll be thankful they had their own personal photographer!

Storybook Life

Doesn't this look like something out of a story book? Some type of fairy tale life? :-)

This is Viva, looking longingly down the hill towards the play yard. Daddy told her she couldn't go play because the moose was still lingering in the trees right behind!

Monday, August 10, 2009

What We Play

The kidlets do a great job of playing together and sometimes they even play for a good 20 minutes before aggrevating each other! It's a beautiful life.

They play pegs. They play with their kitchen. They love to look at their post card collection. They enjoy coloring. I'm sure they'd enjoy painting more often if I was a little braver. The boys can spend hours playing with their cars. All of them enjoying racing the baby stroller and the shopping cart around the house in a big loop. Some days we love puzzles, and some days we love to build with blocks. They particularly love to play during nap time. :-)

The newest toy is a "Wac-A-Mole" treasure of a game from a garage sale yesterday. It comes with a bunch of hammers to wack at the moles with. It is, as I suspected it might be, a huge hit with the boys!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Dance Boy

Bentley, showing off some of his moves.

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Great Retake

I was so inspired by that unusual photo of Jake that I posted on Tuesday that I immediately lobbied for another trip to the park that we took the photo at. The grandchildren are always ready to go to the park and Opa, the photographer, was a good sport, too.

We went earlier this week and we had a fantastic photo shoot! That is pretty incredible given that we were working with three toddlers. They were very cooperative almost the entire time. It was amazing.

We started off with some shots on a park bench. Here's our favorite one.

Then we moved to a nearby picnic table. We had a hard time choosing our favorite shot taken here, so we picked three.

Finally we started hiking down the trail. We found a log for the grandchildren to sit on.

I didn't like the background behind that particular log, so I moved the trio to a log behind the first log.

Farther down the trail we ran across a set of three tree stumps. This should have been a great location. The toddlers all sat nicely on their assigned stumps, but as we started shooting photos a yellow Labrador retriever came down the path. *sigh* The photographer could not draw the children's attention back to him.

Fortunately there were many other opportunities to take great shots. We found another tree stump, a rather large one. I attempted to pose all three children on it, but it was a precarious perch for Jake and so we abandoned that idea after only a few shots. None of them were great.

Instead we had Jake and Viva sit on the stump. That worked rather well.

I believe (comparing photos after we got back home) that this was the stump that Jake stood on when he had The Really Bad Photo taken back in May. The location is prettier now because the forest floor around the stump has filled in with more greenery, but the background trees look similar.

We decided to give the toddlers a break from the photo session because they had been so great to work with. We headed straight on to the playground where they had a fun time on the swings and slides. After playing for a while, we headed back.

We stopped at the stream to pose the little ones for a set of beautiful photos that can be arranged in a triptych frame.

We stopped at a nearby park bench.

We then spent some time trying to get a good photo of the toddlers running down the forest path, but they were too quick for us. Mark could not easily keep ahead of them. They refused to hold hands. We had a couple of mishaps when one toddler ran into the back of another.

We'll have to try this type of photo again another day. We found yet another tree stump and we attempted to redo the aforementioned lousy (but humorous) photo of Jake.

We redid the photo all right--we got another funny photo. That was NOT my goal. I think the problem might be that Jake feels a little unsteady on the stump, so he slumps forward to stabilize his balance which gives him really lousy posture (and a shortened waist!) which results in a ridiculous photo.

Viva refuses to stand on stumps. However, she loves to sit on them and we got a wonderful series of photos of Viva on stumps.

We definitely got some great photos, but...there is always room for more photos. I've got a new idea for a photo op. I want to take the children (and the photographer!) down to town square and get some photos amid the incredible flower beds. (By amid I mean next to not actually standing in the beds!)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Thankful Thursday #13

This week we are...

excited! Bentley's girlfriend is back in town, and she's staying at our place. The kids are quite excited about it (so are the rest of us) - she's fun company.

enjoying (grateful would be a stretch!) So You Think You Can Dance. My Mother & I have been watching it with the kids, and they've certainly picked up some interesting new dance moves. Stay tuned for pictures!

thankful (Viva is) for campfires! She had an adventure with her Dad this past weekend and has been telling us, all week, how much she likes fires. And marshmellows. It could be our little girl that is the family pyro. :-)

thankful (the boys!) for hammers & airplanes & the zoo! They had an adventure with Dad and enjoyed a building workshop at Home Depot, plane watching out at the airport, and a long trip to the zoo.

happy for at least a bit of rain free time. The kids made it to the park with Grandma & Opa earlier this week in the evening. They always appreciate the chance to get out even more when it doesn't happen often enough.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Great Shot? Not!

Back in May at my urging Mark took the photo below. Mark and I had taken the grandchildren to a park we had just discovered that had a nice trail through the woods to the neighborhood elementary school. Along the trail there were some excellent photo ops. I put Jake on a tree stump for Mark to snap some photos. The setting was perfect...the photo was not.

The setting is beautiful and the subject pops nicely out of the background (rather cool!), but Jake is not his usual super cute self. We need to revisit that spot and try again.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Jeans Mania

You have to love a toddler in jeans because they are so darn cute (both the toddler and the miniature pair of jeans).

The problem in our house is that Bentley and Jake love their jeans and only their jeans. Earlier this summer I posted about how hard it is to get them into shorts. Well, it's getting just about as difficult to dress them in anything other than jeans. They scream and kick and even resort to dragging dirty jeans out of the laundry basket.

Yesterday Bentley had one last pair of clean jeans, but he was upset at his mother's choice of shirt. She gave him two different Polo style shirts to pick from, but he wanted to wear a t-shirt. Jake didn't have any clean jeans so he went ballistic. He was even furious about the pair of socks we put on him. After losing the battle over the jeans, nothing made him happy. *sigh* This is not the best way to start the day.

Will we give in and clear the closet of all pants other than jeans?! Not going to happen. It's just too much fun (notwithstanding the screaming and kicking) dressing up our little living dolls.

Viva is an excellent sport and happily wears anything we dress her in. Viva! Viva! She's Our Best!