Saturday, November 28, 2009

Snow Day!

We had a perfect snow day yesterday.  Tons of just right consistency snow for Mr. Snow Man, and temperatures just warm enough to make it enjoyable to be outside.  The kids shoveled with Matt, threw some snow balls, and then made a snow man with Grandma!  Snow - we love it!  Now if only I had a robot who could put on snow pants, gloves, hats, shoes for the kids... what a process it is.

Sitting on Mr. Snow Man's base:

Snow ball fight in progress (Jake just can't quit grinning!)

Viva & Mom, and the finished Mr. Snow man (or, if you asked Viva, princess snow man... but I couldn't find her tiara to put on him so she was a little put out with me!)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Our Grateful Lists

I tried sitting each of the kids down separately to ask them what they are particularly grateful for, this Thanksgiving season.  As you will see below I had limited success with some of my participants... :-)  To "kick it off", though, here is my top 4 list.

I am grateful for my beautiful family, our health, a warm home and good food to eat, and the knowledge that we are children of a God that loves us!

As for the kids?

With much prompting, Viva shared that she is grateful for:

My arm
My other arm
My elbow
My shirt
My pants
My shoes
My butt

Hmmmmm. Okay! I moved on to Jake. He wasn't in the room when I was talking to Viva, but oddly enough he started out on the same tone she did:

My arms
My head
My tongue
My mouth
My ears
My Backhoe Socks
My Jeans

I finished up with Bentley. He had no problem rattling off a list of things he's grateful for! I tried to hint for a place on this list, but he didn't take the hint. Maybe next year?!!!

New cars
New monster trucks
Dinosaur stickers
Butterfly stickers
Cookie dough
Hot dogs
Macaroni noodles
Fire tucks
Beach balls
Viva’s princess movie
Train videos
Crazy frogs
Gummy bears

And there's our lists!

Thanksgiving Fun!

The night before Thanksgiving we made some turkey cookies out of oreos and candy.  I had seen the idea on someone's blog, and their turkey cookies looked adorable.  Part way into the cookie making activity Bentley informed that that "the birds look pathetic".  Sadly enough, I had to agree.  The heads kept falling off our birds.  We need better cement like frosting next time.  If there is a next time!  Despite our head rolling turkeys we hung in there until we had a whole rafter of turkeys.  (interesting fact: I was thinking the term was gaggle of turkeys... but apparently it's just a gaggle of geese, and a group of turkeys is known as a rafter - did you know that?!).

Here's the group shot of our turkeys:

We also played some Thanksgiving pin the hat on the turkey, courtesy of Grandma Vicki.

Fun!  On Thanksgiving day we went out to Grandpa Tim and Grandma Karen's place to hang out.  We ate way too much food and had a great time!  Bentley ate some veggies, a roll, and some turkey which he identified as chicken.  Viva ate some veggies, part of her roll, some turkey and potatoes.  Jake was our super eater.  He ate stuffing, asparagus, ham, turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberry salad, mashed potatoes, rolls, gravy... he powered through it all!  And, of course, we all had some dessert.  It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a few different sweet treats, right?  We had truffles, fudge, pumpkin pie, chocolate pie, red velvet cake, and cranberry upside cake.  Not all at the same time though!

Monday, November 23, 2009

An Interview With Bentley

So I asked Bentley some "standard" questions today, here's what he told me.

What's your favorite color?  Yellow

What's your favorite breakfast?  Poppy seed muffins

Who's your favorite person? I don't know

What's your favorite food?  Noodles and chicken sausages

What's your favorite activity?  Playing games - my alphabet game and Blink!

What's your favorite toy?  Puzzles and leap frog and monster trucks.

Where's your favorite place to go?  The store

What's your favorite book? Bolt & Too Many Pumpkins

What's your favorite type of cookie?  Chocolate chip

Favorite shirt?  Lightening McQueen  (I'd ask him about his favorite pants, but I know jeans are the answer without asking!)

Other random Bentley trivia... Bentley likes to pretend to shoot people (with his hand), and he likes sleepers with feet.  I discovered this AFTER shopping with him for a bunch of new two piece sleepers.  Grrrr!  He does not like to sleep in his bed.  He says he's lonely there, despite having 2 siblings for company.  He believes that by stating things as fact he can make them happen (ie: I am going to.... ).  I'm trying to teach him that's not QUITE how we ask permission!  He's still a master puzzle builder.  As of lately he is in love with processed meats - pepperoni, hot dogs, and chicken sausages.  Go figure.  He likes veggies but it's still hard to find a fruit he's fond of.  He loves to play games, and his drawings have a lot of detail - lately he's been drawing scary monsters.  With some snakes and ghosts thrown in for good measure!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another cute turn of phrase...

Bentley, for some reason (cute reason, of course!) has been obsessed the last couple days with buying me a gift. What gift, you might ask?  He's been fixating on red licorice.  Yesterday he went out with Grandma and was sad they didn't go to a grocery store that sold licorice.  So then today he went out with Daddy and convinced him to go to the store for red licorice!

He brought it home, presented it, and... needless to say, was thrilled to then share it with me.  Sweet kid!

There's my long intro for the newest mis-speak from the twins.  They love licorice.  For some reason, however, they have taken to calling it liquor.  It's a bit disconcerting to hear the 2 year olds ask for more liquor!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Princess Wear

Viva, the self proclaimed princess.  Who when you ask any type of question in the form of "Viva, are you ____ (cute, funny, whatever).  Replies: "No I'm not!  I'm a princess"!  More often than not she's not just a princess, but, apparently, a PINK princess.

Which leads me to the above picture.  I've been in Kohl's a few times lately, and have been gawking at all the gorgeous Christmas dresses they have.  On this last trip I could resist no longer - they were 50% off, and we had a coupon for an addition 30% off of that.  So I let Viva pick one to bring home.  No surprise she picked the pink!

I've decided to let her wear her fancy dresses whenever she wants.  So this morning she got up and put on her "princess dress".  After all - there are only 52 Sundays in the year, and if you count out 25% off them (or 100% if we're going off of recent stats) for sick days, ... well.  There's just not enough time to dress up.  When she went to bed tonight she told me she's going to wear it again tomorrow.  I told her to give some of her other dresses some play time first!

I'm THRILLED to have a daughter that loves dresses.  I have friends that would feel differently, and hope for the tom boys, but I'm in love with the fact that she's in love with girly clothes.

If you looked in her closet you would see testament to this statement.  I counted.  There's 29 dresses in there right now.

Yikes!  It was a few more than even I was expecting.  There's just not enough time for all the dressing up we want to do!  And perhaps it makes you wonder if she NEEDED this new one?  Well... no, of course not.  But in my defense... only 5 of the 29 were purchased new.  And the most expensive of all of them was a $17.99 Costco sale.   So I'm not completely out of control....

right?  :-)

Next up?  I told her if she potty trains herself I'd buy her a tiara.  She pointed out that she already has one.  I told her the one she has just isn't sparkly enough and we need another that glitters.  We'll see if she takes the bait!

Thankful Thursday

So we've missed a few Thursdays (oops), but maybe I can get the train back on the rail.

This week we are thankful...

for the fun time we've had with Aunt Jean this past week.  We're so glad she came up from Juneau to hang out and help us out.

for health!  I'm not saying we have it right now, because we're a house full of sickies, but being sick sure does make one appreciate health more!

for snow!  Although we have colder weather to go with the snow we're still happy to see the snow.  The kids had a blast playing on their sled and shoveling with their Dad this past week.  I'm glad they love the outdoors so much.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Power Plays

Each member of our toddler trio has their own method for getting the adults in their life to give them what they want.

Jake uses his fabulous smile. You can't help but smile back and agree to whatever he requests because he's so adorable. He's a little dynamo of sunshine, except when he's troubled and then he produces the most pitiful tears--big fat tears that slowly roll down his chubby cheeks. You feel compelled to champion his every cause. (Right or wrong!)

Viva has very different techniques for getting her way. She stomps her feet and demands loudly that we do her bidding. Sometimes she adds tears, but tears of anger are much easier to ignore than pitiful tears of misery. Other times Viva turns on the charm, but she's much more subtle about it than Jake is and in the chaos created by three toddlers, she can be overlooked. But, then again, she is The Princess and she knows it. She is soooo cute with her fashionista wardrobe and perky little pony tails and precocious vocabulary. She holds her own against Jake the Adorable.

Bentley, at almost four, usually uses verbal reasoning to get his way. Most of the time we are so amused by his conversational ploys that we give in to his persuasions, but once in a while he crosses the line and then we have to rein in the little despot. After all, we are in charge, right? !? His mother sometimes accuses Bentley of whining and that technique is seldom effective with her. He has more luck using it with grandma.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Excuses, Excuses! Here Are Ours:

I noticed that Kara has not posted a reason for the blog's very dismal track record the past two weeks. We do have one--a really good one, too.

Our household has been snowed under with medical problems. Great-grandma had a total knee replacement on October 29th. She came home from the hospital on November 2nd and required a fair amount of aid.

Then Jake came down with croup on November 5th in the AM hours. Croup is always worst at night. Later that day his mom took him to the doctor's office to get some medication to help him breathe more easily. He's doing better, but he still has a cough and a runny nose.

On November 6th (again in the AM hours) Matt had to take Kara to the emergency room because she had an ectopic pregnancy. She had to have surgery, but was released home that afternoon. We're glad she didn't have to spend time on a hospital ward, but the anesthesia, blood loss, and pain medication knocked her out for the entire week afterwards. She's still not back to normal ten days later.

Meanwhile Bentley and eventually Viva, too, developed severe head colds. Like most toddlers, they do not like being sick and are therefore cranky a lot more than usual. Not so much fun.

After spending lots and lots of time comforting cranky, sick toddlers, I finally succumbed to the vile cold germ. I, like the toddlers, am not very happy when I'm coughing and coughing and blowing my nose endlessly. I and the kidlets are going through multiple boxes of Kleenex. (Do you think there's a market for used Kleenex collages?....attribute that last idea to too much cold medication.)

Last Thursday my twin sister Jean flew in from Juneau to help us out for a week. We haven't been taking very good care of great-grandma since we all got sick. Thank you Jean!

I promise more entertaining blogs to follow. (Just be glad I won't be delivering them in person with all my nasty cold germs spewing forth with every hacking cough.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's Been a Bit!

Here are some of the odd things my children have said lately, that I want to remember.

I asked Viva to turn around, so I could check out her outfit for the day.  What did she tell me?  "You don't need to. I look perfect".

I love it!

Jake has been very talkative lately.  And, I have to admit, I like most of what he has to say.  "I like your earrings, they're pretty"!  "I love you LOTS Mommy", "Hey!  Listen to Me"! (he puts his face RIGHT in your face when he says that one".  Lastly?  When I yell into their room at night and ask them to quiet down he tells me "I'm working on sleeping!".

In the spirit of Halloween, the twins were providing some macabre humor recently.   Great-Grandma recently had a total knee replacement, and I was cautioning the kids that they need to be careful of her knee, so they don't make it bleed.  What did Viva tell me?  "I won't be nice.  I want to see her bleed"!!!  And just so I wouldn't think Viva is my only blood thirsty little urchin, the following day found Jake chasing her around shrieking "I want to cut you into little pieces"...

I promise.  They have NOT been watching horror flicks in their free time.  Although they have been watching a bit of T.V..... more on that in a minute.  I want to note that although Viva wasn't entirely sympathetic to Great-Grandma's knee, Bentley has been sweet.  Every night while she was in the hospital he would ask if we were going to get her soon "She shouldn't stay in that place all night!!".  And he is visionary.  I heard him telling the twins that with her new knee she's going to be able to run AND jump.  Tall orders, she needs to keep working... !

Back to the T.V.... I tried to convince them to watch Sesame Street a few times during the last couple weeks.  Sometimes they get up and turn the T.V. off after about 30 minutes.  Even if the show isn't over.  They tell me they've had enough, and they head downstairs.

Did I train them TOO well?!

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Jack O Lantern

The kids have really been into pumpkins this year.  Could be all the pumpkin books I checked out from the library, the pumpkin sweets we've been baking, and the pumpkin related crafts?  Who knows.... :-).  the weekend before this Jake and Viva helped Daddy pick out 2 big pumpkins at the store.  Then, last Friday, the kids and Matt got done to the business of creating the perfect scary face.

We only made it through one pumpkin, but even so I was surprised at how attentive the kidlets were to the activity.  Jake liked playing with the slimy pumpkin seeds (with a spoon, of course!).  Viva liked the pumpkin guts (she ate some!).  Bentley enjoyed supervising.  I enjoyed the roasted pumpkin seeds.  Matt?  He was in charge of artistic vision and sharp pumpkin sawer safety!

(now all I need to do is remember to get a picture of the finished product all lit up!)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

My Zoo Animals

Do you see the grass in that picture?!!  Crazy, I say.  I'm used to Halloween being a bit more white around here.  :-)  So Jake was our chicken, Bentley was a bat, and Viva decided on a kitty cat costume.  For a while Viva was stuck on being a rooster, but she changed her mind and went with feline!

We had a fun Halloween!  On Wednesday we went to a toddler Halloween party.  There were friends, costumes, lunch, donuts on strings, and fishing for candy in the "fish pond".  Good stuff!

On Friday we went over to Matt's work to check out Daddy dressed up in his Wizard of Oz Lion costume, and enjoy some food at the work party.

On Saturday we went up to Grandma Karen & Grandpa Tim's to trick or treat, then we headed over to the church building for a Halloween Carnival.  There were games to play, the twins mostly watched but Bentley actually participated in a few.

After the ward carnival the twins and I headed home, and Matt & Bentley went downtown to check out the Anchorage Symphony's Halloween Concert.  Apparently it wasn't a huge hit, but nothing ventured nothing gained... right?  :-)

The verdict?  A little bit of candy, but not too much.  Costumes, selected by the kids that they enjoyed wearing.  It was all good!