Saturday, January 31, 2009

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (One, Two, Happy Birthday to You)

Earlier my two year olds (weird to say) were quibbling over shoes with little buckles. Abigail knew she was annoying Bethany, but she kept the other shoe out of her reach anyway. And grinned as she did it. Abigail puts on a devilish grin when she knows she's bugging someone. For someone who was running a fever and a total lump in my arms earlier, it was actually kinda nice to see Abigail being a stinker.

Here are a few highlights (and a couple of lowlights) from the little girls' first two years:

They were born only three and a half weeks early, which is good for twins.
Abigail was 5 lbs. 12 oz. at birth, Bethany was 5 lbs. 2 oz.
Bethany was born with club feet but casting and bracing have made a huge different and to see her run and jump and play, you'd never know that she has it.
Abigail had reflux and cried a LOT at first, but meds controlled it and now she's fine.
They were both slow to grow, but are doing fine now. Abigail is noticeably bigger at this point and I get comments like "oh, how far apart are they" and very surprised faces when I reply "four minutes".
They've been to several states (and DC) already (WA, VA, D.C., NC, PA, NY, RI, MA, MD, IN, KY, IL, CO and of course their home state, AK!).
They were baptized at 9 months, wearing the same baptismal gowns that Moriah and Susannah wore.
Abigail has been a monkey and Dino Flintstone for Halloween.
Bethany has been a snowboarder and Pebbles Flintstone for Halloween.
They began walking around 15 months, within a week of each other.
Elmo and Blues Clues became favorites a few months ago.
They both love to be read to, a highlight of my days.
Abigail loves veggies and Bethany loves cheese. Both love sweets.
They both love being pulled in their sleds and they both love 'no' (snow).
They adore their older siblings and sometimes cry for a sibling instead of a parent.

I could probably go on and on (and probably missed something major). I hope this gives a little view into their first two years. It's been a wild ride (starting when the ultrasound tech told me there were two in there again) and at times I've had to hang on for dear life, but I wouldn't change a thing, my dear sweet babies.

Happy Happy Birthday Abigail and Bethany. Thank you for two wonderful years.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya...?

Not so sure I'll love tomorrow. It's the little girls' second birthday. Yes, second. Almost two years have passed at this point. Less than an hour from their birthday (even though they were born at almost 7 pm) and I'm freaking out a little at how fast the time has gone.

We're planning a very small 'party' with some friends to share birthday cake. We have a few presents for them to open. We've been practicing "I('m) two" with two little fingers held up as a response to "how old are you?" It won't be a huge day but it'll be an important day. Our little goofy sweeties will be two.

My, how time flies.


Moriah came home rather excited about snowboarding. Susannah had a good time, too, but didn't enjoy the instructor as much. The girls learned a lot about the basics of being square with the board and keeping your shoulders centered over the board. Apparently Susannah kept twisting too much. When I asked which part (shoulder? hips? torso?) she said, um all of it. Moriah's big deal is that she got the hang of a toe to heel turn (or something like that) fairly quickly. Both are ready for next week's lesson and the possibility of going up Chair 3, which will be much steeper than the 'magic carpet'.

I wanted to get pictures of them...this, the first day of their descent into becoming 'boarders'. (you do know that skiers and boarders are different creatures, right?) But, I was with babies and Jim was skiing with another group, so no photos exist. Sigh. Bad Mommy. Maybe I'll go to the hill next week with my camera and try to embarrass them then.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ski program tomorrow

Forgot to post a small prayer request. Tomorrow is our school's first 'ski day' of the year. A little background before writing up the prayer request:

Living in a place with a ski resort right here means our kids are able to ski early and ski often (well, if you can afford the prices and gear). Our school is fortunate enough to have a reduced-fee ski program for six Thursday afternoons each January-March and tomorrow is the first one. The resort has increased the fees this year and made everything one price (there are lesson, rental and lift ticket packages and then variations on those packages). We have our kids' ski gear already which would make buying the lift tickets fairly expensive. So, I finally relented and the girls will be learning how to snowboard. I was a "mean mom" for a couple of years and didn't allow them to try it because we had already spent enough money on gear (and a pass last year) and didn't want to throw more money into the mountain sports pot. to the prayer request (yes, I know, finally!). Since everything was the same (higher!) price this year, it made way more sense to go ahead and let the girls do the rentals and lessons for snowboarding. They are pretty excited, but I am a little nervous. I'm sure they'll do fine, but I'd appreciate prayers for their safety anyhow. Thank you!


That is Susannah's winning word for the Girdwood School spelling bee today. She has been a class 'representative' for the last three years and this year won for the elementary grades (3-6). Susannah will be competing on March 4 in the state-wide Bee in Anchorage, so she has a month or so to try to learn to spell all sorts of words. If you have any great lists of hard words for her to learn, send them our way!

Moriah took third place, missing the word renovate. She was pretty nervous before the school bee (the first time she's been in it) and was pleased with how well she did. Both girls are quite good spellers and have out-spelled their older brother for the last several years. Samuel is a great reader and has a huge vocabulary...he just can't spell some of the big words he uses. Or some of the small ones.

Now for a walk down memory lane...I too was a good speller (still am I suppose). I won the spelling bee at my school when I was in sixth grade and competed in the county bee. My glory was short-lived, however, when I was given the word flivver. Do you know what it means? Neither did I (click the link to see!). It rhymed with river, so I spelled it with one 'v'. Buzz! Wrong! It was fun while it lasted.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A new way to decline

Lately the little girls have had an interesting way of saying no. It's more like "naaaaaaaoww" and it's usually said while slowly (and somewhat coyly) shaking their heads back and forth. And they know they're cute and they know it's funny, so I imagine this method of politely declining requests will persist for a little while. Abigail, especially, seems to milk this for all its worth as she grins broadly during the delivery.

I suppose this is better than an emphatic "NO!" ??

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A me day

I took some friends in to the airport today (they're heading to Hawaii...have fun, guys!) and then took some time to have a 'me day' afterwards. I stopped in at REI and picked up some great sale stuff...for the babies, Susannah and Jim. I went down to the 5th Avenue Mall to visit my good friend Eddie B. (he had nothing of interest today beyond a possible shirt for...Samuel *sniffle*). I hit a few other stores and got...things for the babies.

Then I headed to Bed, Bath and Beyond to look for a hanging fruit basket. Found it ('ll free up counter space), a couple other 'house' things and a funny monkey silicone 'mitt' for Moriah the budding cook. I also found a quilt that I'd LOVE for our room, but it's out of the budget for now.

Finally, I turned the car toward the Dimond Mall. Looked around Gotschalks (nada) then headed to Old Navy, where I finally found a couple of things for me! (and some pjs for the babes) My last errand was to a recently relocated hair salon, where I hoped to score some hair stuff on sale (nope).

Didn't get much for me but it was sooooooooooo nice to have a few hours to myself, to shop where I wanted and not have to get groceries (although we're out of 'baby' milk...oops).

Water babies, sorta

We took the babes to the resort's pool last night. Moriah and Susannah have been anxious to get them in the water. Plus, we have these really cute rasher suits with 'ruffle bum' bottoms that they'd never worn, so it was time. We kept calling it a 'big bath', hoping they'd be willing to give it a try.

The pool was pretty busy and noisy, which did NOT set well with Bethany who wouldn't even take off her coat at first. Abigail was fairly game but freaked out a little when her feet hit the water. She let me take her around and even sat on the top step for a while, splashing and giggling. Bethany did the "death-grip-on-Mommy-legs-held-way-out-trying-hard- not-to-touch-the-water" position in my arms. Eventually she put her feet in but didn't last long. We have a lovely photo of her crying and pointing to the side of the pool.

Both little girls ended up cuddled up in towels, sitting on a bench, watching Daddy and their three older siblings swim. They did a lot of pointing and giggling at the swimmers. Susannah got Abigail back in for another short dip and some cute video, which got Bethany in for about three seconds (and another high quality crying, pointing picture I might add).

Verdict: Abigail will probably go in again without much hesitation. Bethany will not. Unless her sister is in the pool, laughing and splashing and then for only a moment.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Geologic Hazard

A friend of mine is in Seattle giving a talk to her colleagues today about Geologic Hazards in Alaska. Ironically, she missed one just this morning. An earthquake out in Cook Inlet, magnitude 5.7 I believe. And me? Well, I was asleep at 9:09 when it hit so I missed it too. My darling hubby let me sleep in this morning.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Reading and baby bits

I have been really busy the last couple of days with a class and an after school party for Battle of the Books kids (fun reading program in our state). So busy that I haven't even seen much of the little girls. *pout*

Speaking of Battle of the Books (or BoB), Moriah and Susannah are doing the program again this year. Last year both girls were on a successful 3/4 grade level team that tied for second across the state. This year they are part of the 5/6 grade level (I'm the coach) and have 14 books to read for the upcoming competition. There are competitions in (I think) all Alaska school districts and then a state competition. At the actual Battle, they'll be part of a three-person team and will answer 48 questions (four rounds of 12 questions each) that will all start with "In which book...". The list is pretty good this year and they've found some new authors that they enjoy. The Battle is on February 10 so we have a bit longer to get in as much reading and practicing as possible.

Samuel is participating on the middle school team this year, too, and will have his competition on February 11. Several good books on his list, too, but a couple of 'eh' titles that the kids aren't enthused about. Samuel competed from grades 3-6 and made it to the state competition his first year and did well the other years. The 7/8 level reads 12 books and is much smaller in number in terms of schools and teams. I'm not familiar with how the middle school BoB works, and I'll be curious to see the differences.

Jim called while I was at the BoB 'party' and told me that Bethany had gotten out of her crib. Uh oh. A few months ahead of when we expected/planned. I sure hope it's not a new trick that she'll do each nap time. Jim and I figure we don't have to worry so much overnight because of her club foot brace (she'd have to swing both legs up over the side to get out), but this does mean we have to re-examine our timeline to swap Samuel's and the babies' rooms. Samuel...time to start packing!

One other tidbit to share: Tonight I read _Owl Babies_ to the little girls before bed. It is one of my favorite books and has a repeating line from the youngest owl baby Bill who says "I want my mommy!" I had moved on to reading _Are You My Mother?_ when I heard Abigail murmur some words and ended with "my mommy". How sweet! She was 'reading' the book as she said this and got all smiley when I noticed what she said.

Looks like my kids are librarian kids, huh? No choice but to love books!

I'm looking forward to a relatively quiet Saturday. We had an extended break from school late last week because of 3 snow days for icy conditions and had Martin Luther King Jr. day off on's been a short week after a 'six-day' weekend but it felt longer. I'm pretty tired. Weird.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My new president

I debated about posting this because I don't want anyone to feel I have an 'agenda' on this blog (beyond how fantastic my family is, of course). But I finally decided to do it anyway.

Today was an amazing day for me. I voted for Barack Obama and was thrilled when he won. But I wasn't prepared for how good his inauguration day would feel. I got up early so I didn't have to be driving to work during Obama's speech. I rearranged the library so classes could come view some inauguration streaming video. I kept the inauguration on as much as possible because I wanted to drink in as much as I could while it was actually happening, even though I am four time zones away from DC.

As I drove home from Anchorage tonight, I reflected on my enthusiasm and came to realize that I was more than excited about President Obama. I was also incredibly relieved that President Bush was now former President Bush. I hadn't realized how very sad and disappointed I was about and in our former president. I hadn't realized that I was carrying a burden that was lifted today while watching the festivities.

I know Obama will make mistakes. I know he has a huge learning curve and a huge amount of problems to tackle. But I also know that he seems genuine in his desire to unite this country. That he seems to really want us to work for each other, not just for ourselves. And I think that we will see examples of fulfilling Jesus' social justice mandates through his policies.

So that's my little Inauguration Day musing. Peace!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Why blog?

The main reason I'm blogging is to keep family and friends more up-to-date on our lives. I'm an awful correspondent and have not shared as many fun/cute/important events as I would have liked. Of course, this is about two years too late for most of the big milestones the little girls will hit, but better late than never?

So that said, I thought I'd share how I woke up this morning. To the sounds of two little girls singing a hybrid of the ABC song and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It started out sounding like the ABC song but then I would hear something like "howiwonerwachuar". Both girls currently LOVE hearing the ABC song/Twinkle/Baa Baa Black Sheep (they share a tune, dontcha know) so don't start singing any of them if you don't have a good ten to fifteen minutes to go through the trio of songs over and over.

Yes, I will try to get it on video even though they have hit the age of wanting to see what's on the screen rather than allow me to film whatever it is they are doing.

Now I'm off to email all those aforementioned family and friends to let them know this blog exists!

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My first post

So I did it. I settled on a name for this blog and I'm blogging. Only problem is that I have no real idea what I'm doing. I suppose eventually I'll figure it out.

In the meantime, I'll play around, figure out the little gadgets to add, and see if I can't find a template that I really really like.