Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bunny Cupcakes

We made Bunny cup cakes this past week!  They were featured on the front of one of my too many  magazines I have laying around, and Bentley spotted them a few weeks back.  Apparently he liked the look of them, because he requested that we make them.

I am always up for a new baking project so, of course, agreed quickly.  We headed to the store to pick up the candy we didn't already have, and then tried out the project the next day.

The kids weren't too great at frosting spreading, BUT they were good at coconut dipping and sugar sprinkle and eye/nose/ear placement... and, of course, quality control tasting of the supplies.

Jake ate a cupcake when we were done.  Bentley, of course, wanted a plain one that was not decorated with frosting and all that "stuff" on it.  Viva?  She ate the top of the bunny but couldn't quite grasp there was cake underneath.  I suppose it's just as well.

Bentley tells me we should make more bunny cupcakes for Halloween.  I told him maybe we could find a new style for that holiday... !

A Listen at the Door....

To continue with the theme of my prior post, sleep, a few notes about the kids and their bed time routine.

I like the word routine.  We have a good routine for bedtime, it's just a consistent schedule for it that we're lacking!  Every night at bed time the kids put on their sleepers, brush their teeth, and then they each pick a book.  We read their stories and throw in some scriptures and an Article of Faith.  Then we say prayer, give out water, fight over who gets to turn on the humidifier, and give too many hugs and kisses to count.  That's the routine.  It's consistent.  The timing of when this routine takes place?  A bit variable.  Occasionally right at 9.  Sometimes closer to 10.

Tonight it was closer to 10.  At 11:30, the kids were still busy in their room enjoying sibling bonding time.  A couple nights ago I listened at the door and heard them playing an imaginary game of Sequence (a board game we have) out loud.  Sometimes they have pillow fights.  Etc.  Whatever!  They're enjoying each other's company so it's all good, right?!

Grandma stopped at the door tonight, curious b/c it sounded like they were throwing a carnival in there.  Bentley said:

"Hush!!  Someone's coming!!!"

good catch on his part.  but he said it after she'd already been standing there for a bit!

they quickly fell silent and kept the silence for a good 5 seconds... :-)

Then Bentley said:

"Well, tomorrow we have a lot of stuff going on.  But not too much!!"

I like that he was giving the twins a pep talk.  Too bad it didn't also include an admonition to get straight to sleep?!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

To continue with the Jake photo theme we have going lately.... !  He's a beautiful sleeper.  And I mean that in more than one way.  As you can see, he's awfully darn cute while he's sleeping.  But out of the 3 kids in the house, he's also my best sleeper.  You put him down for a nap, doesn't matter what time it is, and he falls asleep within 10 minutes.  He sleeps and sleeps and sleeps... he doesn't play in his room, skip his nap, or wake up after 30 minutes.  He doesn't sing songs or talk to himself or take 4 bathroom breaks while he's supposed to be napping.  Not that other kids around here do that... :-)

Not only is he a good napper, but he's also often the one asleep first at bedtime.  Not every night, but I'd say 70% of the time (not to be too exact, right?!) he's out first after lights out.

And, as any parent knows, a child that goes to sleep nicely is a beautiful child!

Viva, on the other hand.... She doesn't sleep half the time at nap time.  And she is NOT normally first asleep at night.  As those two facts might suggest, the best time to catch her sleeping is in the morning.  She's always dead tired and last kid up!  Often she's only half asleep when she does choose to nap, and when you say hello at the door she pops right up.  But once in a while all her late nights and lack of naps get to her and then she refuses to wake up even after being dragged out of her bed and throw in the sun on a chair (see below).  Viva is the one mostly likely to cover her head with a pillow and say "go away, I'm NOT getting up yet" if you catch her at the wrong moment!

Bentley.  He's starting to grow out of naps, but I wish he'd keeping taking them.  I can definitely see a behavior difference on the days he decides to just "try" to go to sleep.  He requests a fort (normally on the big round couch in Grandma's room, but on weekends sometimes on our family room couch near where Daddy is hanging out), climbs in, and attempts to fall asleep.  He succeeds probably 1/3rd of the time.  Sometimes he succeeds despite his best attentions.  Caught in the act of sleeping while still sitting up:

Stair Time

Opa put together this lovely clip, complete with the appropriate music. These kids are nutty!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ideal Kidlet Portraits

As the primary kidlet photographer, I am my own worst critic. The kids are usually too active to stop and pose and let me get good framing and focus, the lighting is too low to get proper mix of shutter speed and aperture, I don't get down at their level fast enough, I don't have the camera when they are striking a cute pose and so forth. And then they are times when the kids (usually just one of them) get it into their heads that they want to be photographed and will hold still, pose just right and let me take a couple of pictures. Jake was so inclined today. It lasted just a moment, but the light was wonderful, and he struck a great pose and I was right there to get the shot.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thankful Thursday

It's been a slow week.  We haven't gone out to "party" much, but we've been enjoying hanging out at home.  Pictures coming of our lovely "projects" from lately!

We're thankful for...

unexpected "vacation" time!  Daddy gets to stay home and play tomorrow since he has to head out to Barrow on a Sunday instead of a Monday this week.  It will be fun.

returning health.  After a week of being sick we appreciate a return to relative health.

indoor water parks.  We don't live somewhere where it's warm all year, it's nice to have somewhere to go where the kids can play in the water.  We had fun w/Amrita & Johanna at H2Oasis last week.

a fun church ward.  We all enjoyed the "Luau" last weekend!

breakup!   The boys went to the zoo w/Daddy and it's almost warm enough to be enjoyable for more than 30 minutes now.

card nights.  Okay, so maybe the kids aren't grateful.  But I've been having fun playing cards with Uncle Tyler, Grandma Karen, and Mary!  Since Margaret headed home in December I haven't played pinochle!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Quarterback Jake

Nice form, right?!  It's time to get him out on the field!  Alternatively, these pictures could be titled "Easter Bunny Toss".  Grandma Vicki sent some very cute bunny stiched Easter pillows to the kids last year.  I recently pulled them out of the Easter box, while decorating (don't be too impressed - our Easter decor is QUITE lacking!)... Bentley and Viva sleep with their pillows.  Jake?  His new favorite game is the "pillow toss"... he plays with great glee and giggles.

Grandma Vicki... this may not be quite what you envisioned for the life of the purple bunny pillow.  But?  Jake loves it!  Thank you!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

At the risk of sounding like we're complaining, this week we're thankful for...

good health!  we don't have it, but it sure is making us all appreciate what it was like to have it a week ago!  :-)  the kids have been hanging onto their colds and feeling miserable, so I hope they're back to partying soon

in the same vein, down time is something to be thankful for.  we've read lots of books, and played lots of game.  we've been hanging out and cuddling.

spring!  we're starting to see beautiful sunshine.  there's lots of snow out there still, but that's okay.  we now spring is on the way.

vocal cords.  it allows the kids to say all sorts of things that crack me up.  their intent isn't to provide humor, I'm sure, but I'm glad that they do.

lastly, but not least, Grandma Julia!  she has been humoring us and working extra hard to take care of us this week!  we appreciate that.

Saint Patrick's Day

Despite lackluster health and energy levels, we did our best to celebrate Irish Day!  I convinced Viva to wear green.  The boys weren't affable to the idea.  Ah well.  They did sign on for the green shamrock pancakes.  I tried making one and it looked like a sad blimp.  So we put Grandma in charge and she turned out quite passable shamrocks.  The kids were impressed.  I think.  Although I don't think we've really explained shamrocks to them very well?

Why is this girl sitting on the counter to eat breakfast?!  I'm not sure... the home rules are kinda lax some times.  Their mother should do something about that!

Whhy is this one eating while standing?  Doesn't he know we eat while sitting at a table?!!  Anything for a picture...

Ahhh.  Good.  The 4 year old is, at least, where he should be!

We did make some shamrocks with our Crayola clay, and then paint them and pour glitter on them.  So the holiday has my permission to be over.  We commemorated it!

For dinner we had the missionaries over, and our green menu items included broccoli soup and brownies with mint chips.  The kids weren't too sure about the green soup (and it WAS delicious!) but, of course, the brownies were a hit.  They seem to prefer their veggies raw and crunchy.  I suppose I shouldn't mess with that!

Tomorrow we're having a belated St. Patrick's day lunch with friends.  Pistachio cookies, green spinach smoothies, and pesto are on the menu.  Green food is good!

Next year?  They'll be old enough to cook for me!  Right?

Monday, March 15, 2010


We had a bit of a crazy bubble bath.

Viva liked the bubbles. Bentley kind of liked them. Jake? He was already out of the tub.  He doesn't stick around for when the jets turn on.  (Add some Johnsons baby soap, turn on jets, watch the bubbles multiply more and more and more... then turn off jets before it overflows).  Verdict: I thought the bubbles were awesome.  The male adults in the household had some words about septic systems and too many bubbles.  Oops.  Off to google it all I go....

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Instead of kidlets we have a bunch (3, to be exact) of sicklets at home right now.  Bentley kicked things off with a fever and a cough.  Jake jumped in with some croup.  Now Viva, normally the "tough" one, has joined the party with a fever.  She took a 3 hour nap today (very odd for Viva), and then laid around looking quite pathetic until bed time.

They still say funny things though.

Jake, at the Dr. today, for some steroids to help with his croup.  He was not happy to be there.  He said:

"there's a dragon, and it's going to breathe hot flames on the Dr.!"

I love that he has a good imagination.

Yesterday Viva scratched his cheek.  He came crying to let us know his face hurt.  I asked him if he'd tried to take the newspaper from her (they compete for the *honor* of carrying it into the house).  He said:

"No!  I didn't!  I was trying to push her out of the chair."

Ahhh... in that case... ?!  And he somehow seemed very confused as to why she'd attacked back.  Sheesh.

Bentley lately has been referring to himself in the 3rd person.  He'll say:

"Bentley wants to play a game.  Bentley wants a drink... Bentley likes this!"

I think it's adorable.  I laugh every time.  I didn't laugh when I was buckling him into his carseat and he told me:

"Don't you even start with me!"

A little too much sass sometimes.

and Viva?  We were driving a few days ago and she told me that when she gets bigger than me that she's going to drive cars.   Why BIGGER than me?  I have no idea.  I was sharing this with my Mother and she told me that when I was 2 I informed her that we should take turns driving the car.  Sounds like Viva is a bit more patient than I was?!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


On Monday the boys went to a salon and had their hair cut. Up until now we've had Natalie cut the boys' hair for us and she's done a great job, but she lives on the other side of town, so Kara decided it was time to try out a local salon which is just down the road.

Here are some before (Sunday) and after (Monday) photos:

And here's our attempt to get a nice photo of the handsome twosome together:

Some cute photos, but not exactly what we had in mind.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I Spy...Jake's Stash

Have you seen the "I Spy" books and games for young children? The author uses photos of a jumble of objects and the goal is to find (to spy!) a particular object in the jumble--a marble, a small toy jet, a race car, a horse, a penny, a button, etc.

I have a photo below for you to carefully examine in "I Spy" tradition. The photo contains items all of which are special to Jake. Every object in his collection was carefully selected and placed in his treasure bag which he hauls everywhere. Every morning his stash goes downstairs at breakfast time and comes back up at nap time. Then after nap it's back downstairs and back up at bedtime. Even then it doesn't take a rest--his stash bag is hauled wherever he goes during the night. Jake has no limits other than size--the objects must fit into his stash bag.

Jake's stash:

Can you spy the pony bead bracelet? He made it a couple of weeks ago when Patrick and Cassidy were visiting.

Can you spy the Valentine's Day Cards? He got one in the mail from Great-Grandma & Grandpa Altman and another one is from Grandma Vicki.

Can you spy the band-aids? These were a gift from Grandma Karen. She always buys the coolest band-aids and the trio all beg a few extra from her whenever they visit. (They wear them like tattoos!)

Can you spy the post card? I'm not sure why this particular post card ended up in the bag. It's just one of dozens in their post card collection.

Can you spy the book? Again, why this book? I've no idea. It's been in the bag for quite some time. I've tried removing it, but Jake retrieves it again.

Can you spy the container of Valentine candy? It was a gift from Grandma Vicki. Bentley and Viva ate their candy, but Jake stashed his. It's smart to have some food in your stash, right?

Can you spy the baby bottle? Yup, Dolly's bottle is stashed. She no longer gets fed. Dolly herself was in the stash for a while, but as more items were added, there was not enough room for her. :-(

Can you spy the McDonald's Happy Meal toy (a penguin)? Another prize from time with Grandma Karen.

Can you spy a black comb? (You might need to double click on the photo to make it larger to identify the comb which is half buried under other items.) The comb was added today after a visit to the hair salon.

Can you spy the Duplo blocks? These were most likely part of a constructed gun.

Can you spy a motorcycle? A police car? A bulldozer? A train? A big rig? The majority of Jake's stash is small vehicles. When you have 24 (!!), they start to add up weight-wise. The bag has needed many repairs to reinforce it and to fix rips and tears. It'd be easier to get out a new gift bag, but I am hoping that instead I can convince Jake to empty his stash into a shoebox and then store it under his bed. This ploy worked with Bentley a few months back, but so far Jake refuses to cooperate.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

New "Commentary" from the Trio

The children continue to delight (or confound?!) me with the thoughts that come from their precious little minds.

We're busy planning our trips for the year, and Viva is ready to head off to Mexico.  We're not going until the fall.  She'd had a conversation with Grandma Karen about the plans, and apparently they "stuck" in her head.  Before nap time the other day she told me:

"When I get up I want to go to Mexico, where there is sun, and wear my new sundress!".  Hmm... so we asked her if she knew where Mexico was and how long it would take to get there.  She said: "I'm going to hop on a plane!".  Guess she's got it all covered?

Jake is our resident drama king.  He was patted on the head a couple times by a visiting 1 year old, and kept shrieking like he was being mortally injured.  I guess we didn't pay enough attention to his "injuries", so he pulled out the big guns:

"I'm scratched!  I'm bloody all over!"

I was impressed with his flair for drama, but I told him next time it would help if he actually had at least a tiny little mark on him before starting down the drama road... :-)

And not quite a thought, but still an entertaining action.

Earlier this week Bentley was told to wear a particular pair of socks.  Due to the "favorite" status of half the socks, half of them are close to having holes and the other half are still new.  So he was told to wear one of the new pairs.  He came downstairs with 2 pairs of socks on (the pair he was told to wear underneath and the pair he wanted on top), and informed us he was "wearing 4 socks today"!

How could we argue?

Friday, March 05, 2010

Tail Gate Party, Alaska Style

When you have snow 9 months of the year (or so my husband would have me believe... I like to think it's more like 7 tops!), you have to learn to adapt. We may not have 12 months of summer weather, but that's okay. We can party even in the winter. Check out this toddler lunch party at the zoo:

Nice, right?!  And most of them even look happy.  I love it.  We had a zoo date with Patrick, Cassidy, Felicity, Danarra, and baby Matthias (not pictured).  It was an unusual day at the zoo.  The toddlers must have smelled particularly delicious, as many of the carnivorous animals came to the edges of their pens to check out the kids checking out them.  We saw the tiger, who paced back and forth 5 feet away from us, eying 5 toddlers lined up in a row.  We saw the wolves, who made Jake jump and scream when one of them howled at the kids. We saw the eagle, who chirped at them.  We didn't see... the bears.  They're still hibernating.  (well, not the polar bears - but the other ones).

It was fun!  And at the end we piled in the back of the vehicle for a food break.  Why not, right?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Thankful Thursday

We're thankful for...

a city with fun events to check out.  Anchorage isn't huge, but it generally has enough going on to provide entertainment!  The boys checked out Fur Rondy Festivities downtown with Matt last Saturday, and in the evening...

we were grateful for fun firework displays!  We all went downtown to see the fireworks go off.  When they were all done Jake said "they all went boom".  And so they did.

cousins!  We saw some this week, and we haven't seen them in a while.  Family is good.

the sun!  We have so much more light now than we did 2 months ago.  It's a beautiful thing to have daylight at 6 pm still.

Viva and the Hat

I am loving Genevieve as an almost 3 year old (I know, June is a few months away... but lately I've been thinking that my twins are almost 3!).  She has become much better about working with the camera.  The right motivation (aka jelly beans?!) and she can focus, pull out the poses and smiles... ahh.  It's lovely.  Now if only all 3 of them would work together for a shot?

But back to the subject.  Genevieve and the hat.  This morning Grandma pulled a sweater out of the drawer, as we were off to the zoo (more on that coming soon!).  I remembered Viva has a matching hat for the sweater and, what's more, it was right where it was supposed to be.

I think we've uncovered the solution to hair problems.  Hat days.  That hat really helps her look together.  Too bad she thought it was too hot to wear inside all day, I thought she was too cute!

Thanks for the quite lovely pictures, Opa!  And Viva.  :-)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

In Our Defense

Looking through the photos for the past couple of months, one thing was very clear to me...Viva has lots of bad hair days and her photographer captures every one of them. *sigh* It's just not fair! Kara and I work hard on that girl's hair. Every morning we torture her for a few minutes trying to bring order to her flyaway strands, but by the time she plays, takes a nap, and plays more her hair is not looking so good. This is usually when the photographer takes a few photos--at the end of a long day of toddler play.

Finally, a few shots of Viva with good hair because good hair totally ups her cute factor. Viva with nicely combed hair:

Viva with a small pony tail to keep her bangs off her face:

Viva with braids:

Viva with a hair bow:

If it weren't for its toxic side effects, I'd haul out the hairspray!