Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Viva's Seward Trip

Yesterday Geneveive and Matt headed off on the train for their Seward train and cruise adventure.  Jake went last year, and Bentley had the chance to go the year before that.  Matt tells me they had a great time and enjoyed good food and Alaskan beauty, and I conducted a brief interview with Viva today.  Here's what she said:

"Whales were coming at our boat, and whales weren't coming at our boat."

"And we saw a sea otter and a seal and a dolphin."

She then stared off into space, I believe due to lack of sleep.  I figured I should provide a prompt or two to get my interview back on track:

What did you like best about the boat?  "Seeing the stuff, the animals."

What did you like best about the train?  "I liked seeing the river on the train."

Did you have a good time?  "Uh huh!"

What was the best part of your trip?  "Hanging out with Daddy was fun because I had him all to myself and no one else had Daddy but me." (Redundant, but she gets her point across!)

And a picture or two...

Rise & shine!  Poor Viva got up way earlier than she ever has before.  The train leaves at 6:45 and you have to be at the train depot at 5:45!  All boarded:

Getting ready to get back on the train after the water portion of the day:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Goodbye Grandma Vicki

Grandma Vicki finally got to go home. She extended her vacation by over a week to help us out while Kara was in the hospital and Matt was away on a business trip. Since Kara was released from the hospital and Matt is back home, it was necessary to let her return home yesterday. The children are going to miss her quite a bit. Bentley enjoyed getting up early and hanging out one-on-one with her. Lincoln relied on her to get him down for his naps and most nights she put him to bed, too. Jake and Viva loved playing games with her. She taught them how to play chicken foot (dominoes). She did crafts with Bentley, Jake, and Viva that she brought with her. She played a lot of ball with Lincoln. She was a superb grandma-nanny while the rest of us adults tried to keep the household chores done and Matt spent time at the hospital keeping Kara's spirits up. We all worked together as a team and got through the past two difficult weeks. I'm very glad Grandma Vicki was here to help out.

Here are a few more photos we took during her visit.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mommy's Home!

After eighteen very long days Kara convinced her doctors by a combination of good behavior, begging, and fortitude (she increased her pain tolerance and gave up pain meds) to let her continue her bed rest at home. She's thrilled to be home. The children are thrilled to have her home. The adults are a little anxious, but we understand the hospital is not a great place to stay for weeks on end. Lincoln spent the first two nights she was home grousing about her leaving him for so long. (Either that or he was teething?)

She stays upstairs in her bedroom or in the family room off the bedroom. She plans on watching the Olympics with the children. Not every minute of every event, but a couple hours every day.

Kara is much happier at home and a happy mommy is important. Grow baby, grow!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lincoln's First Haircut

Kara requested that I take Lincoln to have his first haircut. She gives the older boys haircuts, but she didn't want to try to give the little guy his first cut. I took him to Natalie who gave the older boys their first haircuts. Both Bentley and Jake needed bribes to make it through their first few cuts. Kara used M&Ms to distract them. I expected Lincoln to be even worse to work with. He doesn't always like strangers and he was short on sleep from a rough night of teething.

Since I was expecting trouble, there was none. He sat very still until the very end when she used clippers to shave the back of his neck and around his ears. He did not like that, but the rest of the haircut he was perfect. Afterward I took him out shopping with me. He doesn't get out of the house very often since either Kara or I is usually home and so he stays home rather than going out. He enjoyed the new sights.

Here is Lincoln before his haircut:

Here is Lincoln after his haircut:

It was time for a haircut, but I must say he's dang cute either way!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Another Sunny Day

Yesterday was another sunny day. It must be the third one this month! Of course, the sun shines every day, but most days there are a lot clouds blocking its hottest rays. Really sunny days when we can haul out the pool do not come very often. Yesterday was such a day, but I and Lincoln had an appointment and so I could not get the pool out in the morning. Instead Bentley, Jake, and Viva had a great time playing outdoors with Grandma Vicki. (Grandma Vicki got blisters from too much hopscotch!) In the afternoon the trio had their final swim lesson for this session. After dinner they changed into their swimsuits and pulled out the water pistols. They had a fun day in the sun.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Visiting Mommy

Kara took this quick photo of Lincoln on her cell phone while we were visiting her at the hospital yesterday. He and his siblings like to visit their mother at the hospital. They give her a quick smile and then dive into her snack food. Lincoln will sit nicely on her bed if he has some food to occupy his attention. Jake likes to cuddle next to mommy, too, with or without food. Viva is all about the food especially the ice cream that mommy orders ahead of time just for her guests to enjoy. Bentley doesn't eat much and he won't snuggle next to his mom at all, but he comes prepared with a list (in his head) of things he wants to share with her.

Kara has been nagging and nagging her doctors to let her come home. She is still having contractions, but they are under control. Tomorrow the baby will get his weekly ultrasound and then the doctors will decided if it's okay for her to come home and stay in bed here. For her mental sanity she needs out of that hospital, but I'm concerned about this plan. We'll have to rely on the doctor's expertise to make the right decision.

The Newest Ball Game

Jake was given a new ball game for his birthday. He has played it a few times and likes it well enough, but Bentley loves it. When Cousin Koltan came over shortly after Jake got the set, he showed the boys how to use it. From then on Bentley has tried recruiting any and all visitors to play with him. When the cousins from Utah were visiting he was able to play with Tanner. When the boys went to Idaho with their dad, mommy ordered a set on amazon.com to be sent to Idaho. When Grandma Vicki arrived here, Bentley played with her. He and his dad have played together. And, of course, he plays with Jake when Jake is willing. I have not yet had the honor of playing with him. I'm a little fearful because he's gotten quite good and I've never played before, so I'm not sure he'll find me an acceptable partner. Maybe I can sneak in a few practice sessions with someone else first. Maybe Jake will help me out.

P.S. I’m not for sure what the ball game is called but I think it's Wham-O Trac Ball Racket Game.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Birthday Gift

Last year Kara told me that for my birthday she was going to give me a new grandchild: Lincoln. He arrived ten days before my birthday, so that was pretty good timing. Now it's a year later and I'm still enjoying my birthday gift. He was a cute newborn, but at one he has even more entertainment value. He keeps the entire household on their toes. This afternoon I went looking for him on the first floor where he is allowed to roam free and I could not find him at first. On my second (slightly frantic) search I found him behind the couch pulling moss out of a large planter. His fingers could barely reach in, but he was dedicated to his goal and so he had managed to pull out a few pieces before I drug him away. He's the finest birthday gift I have ever been given!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Earlier this month Jake was reading a book and he asked me what M - A - T - C - H - E - S was. I told him matches and then I went on to explain that there are two meanings for the word matches. One is a match that you use to light a fire and the other is when you match two things together, like you could match two people up if you thought they'd get along well.

 He responded with "And then you light them on fire?"

Monday, July 23, 2012

Thursday at the Library

Last Thursday instead of attending the usual music hour at noon time, we went at 5PM to the Battle of the Teen Bands on the library lawn. Unfortunately only one band showed up, but they were good and they played for over an hour. I noticed Bentley jiving to “Sixteen Tons” and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. They were my favorites, too.

The event was not well attended (5PM is an odd time) and so the children had lots of room to run and roll and be wild. We went there right after swim lessons and Grandma Vicki, daddy, and Lincoln drove over and joined us. They brought sandwiches, carrots, and oranges for dinner. I was the trip photographer. My photos turned out better than usual. Maybe I’m improving?!

Loussac Library in background, fountain in midground, and funny kids in foreground.

The children love this big rock.
It's usually overcrowded, but tonight it was free. Score!

Jake fell down and scraped his knee.
He was sad, but he sure is a beautiful crier.

Lincoln with the fountain in the background. 
Fountains are rare in Anchorage, so we're proud of this one.

Viva keeping an eye on Lincoln.
As long as she keeps her distance, he's okay with her baby tending him.

Jake sporting his new Band-Aid. He can smile once again.

Grandma Vicki & daddy enjoying the fine weather.

Viva rolling down the hill.
I should have oriented this photo differently.

Lincoln chewing on my water bottle.
I hope he didn't leave teeth marks.

Bentley tending Lincoln.
Lincoln is more tolerant of Bentley invading his space.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Photos for Mommy

We took these photos after church to send to mommy. It wasn’t our most successful photo session since the children had just gotten out of three hours of church and were rather squirrely, but we got some funny ones. They ought to cheer mommy up, right?