Thursday, July 30, 2009

Future prosecutor?

The "whys" have turned. Bethany doesn't just ask "why?" any more. She asks a much deeper question, often pressing for an answer. Maybe she'll be a prosecutor, firing off the hard questions, repeatedly, wearing the accused down until a final, tearful confession is heard.

Yes, I have been in that position. The dreaded question?

"Whatcha doin'?


"I'm washing dishes sweetie."

"Whatcha doin' mama?"

"I'm still washing dishes."

"Whatcha doin'?"

"Still dishes."

and on.

and on.

and on.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Toddler fashion sense

I allowed the little girls to choose their own outfits the other day. Here is what they came up with:
(yes, their hair is atrocious interesting...they don't keep any
kind of barrette or ponytail holder in for long!)

Adorable? Definitely. Future fashion designers? Probably not.

Or...maybe Toddler Choice will become 'in' (I'll have to ask Heidi Klum).

Sunday, July 26, 2009


The babes had fun finger painting the other day. In typical Abigail vs. Bethany fashion, I noted that the little girls had different approaches in smearing the paint around their papers.

Abigail used her fingers and was very precise in
making her swirls and squiggles.

Bethany used her entire hand and went all in, making large blobs and smooshes (and please note her other hand is quite blue).
Watching them paint reminded me of their very first birthday cakes. Abigail had to be convinced to eat her cake, and even then she only poked at the icing at first. Bethany went for it and grabbed her cake and mashed it joyfully into her mouth.

You'd think that with Bethany being such a full-body eater and painter, she'd also be an all-out crazy girl. But no, she's more timid with being twirled around or new things. Abigail tends to be the one who runs pell mell around and jumps off of things and LOVES to be spun around. So be warned (or whatever the right word is): the X-Games-propensity level of the little girls is relatively inverse to how they eat and paint.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

PS on the Potty Training Happy Dance

It's getting a little old to see the little girls go to the bathroom constantly to get an m 'n m or two. More than a little, actually. Very.

(yes: "at least they're going!" but: lots of work for mom when they go so often.)

I think the chocolate has to disappear. And soon. Anyone willing to help me with that? *grin*

It's a twin thing?

Turns out that Moriah and Susannah had never spent the entire night apart. For almost 11 years and 10 months. Ever. (and I'm not counting the parts of nights spent in the ER for croup)

Until two nights ago, when they were each invited to sleep over at a friend's house. Different friends, different houses. Apart. Not together as is the usual mode of invitation from their friends.

I was surprised to realize that. Why hadn't it happened before now? Had they even realized that was the case? Did it bother them?

Is it a 'twin thing'? Maybe. Probably.

For many many years, Moriah and Susannah were indistinguishable from each other for just about everyone. They liked the same things (well, it was Belle vs. Ariel in the princess department), had similar temperaments, enjoyed the same activities and looked a lot alike. But I resisted calling them 'the twins' and I never dressed them exactly the same. I tried very hard to help them develop their own personalities when they were younger so that they'd be seen as Moriah or Susannah, not as one of a pair.

Especially since starting school, the girls have forged their own identities and are not seen as 'twins' by most people anymore. But for some reason the 'two for one' deal on friend invites seems to persist.

Friends seem think that the girls are a package deal. Even though over the years I've tried impressing upon friends and parents alike that it's okay (really!) to invite just one of the girls to something. There have been a few friends who will invite just one girl. But only for a little while and never overnight. I think only Susannah was invited to someone's birthday party once. Once.

So even though this first night spent apart might not seem a big deal, it kinda is. And it's one more way that these two girlios can see themselves as individuals.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bethany's turn

I posted an amusing photo of Abigail not too long ago, after she had eaten a yummy blueberry dessert.

Now I must share an amusing photo of Bethany from the other night. I was trying to get a photo of how funny her hair looks after it's been in pony tails. With her curly hair, you can still see the general shape of the pony tails once you've taken the elastics out. That was my aim in turning the camera her way while in the bath. I had no idea what comic gold I had captured:

If anyone has a great caption to go with this photo, please post it in the comments. My first thought is "Huh?" but that's not very original.

The potty thing

No longer a subdued celebration, we can now openly and enthusiastically celebrate the fact that Bethany is using the toilet regularly now. *insert fist pump here* Something seemed to finally click and she's been doing great, even when out for several hours.

I'm not sure what caused the turn-around, but perhaps it was (partly?) my momma-cleverness. Like when I denied her the chance to brush her teeth at the sink 'like a big girl' until she pottied on the toilet (she had to sit on the floor in her room instead, while listening to her sister have fun running water and singing while brushing). Or like when I made a big deal of showing Abigail her brand new cute 'big girl' undies with Elmo, Zoe and a bevy of princesses printed on them (but Bethany had to keep wearing the fluffier 'training' pants).

In any event, she chose the third night of Vacation Bible School to become a toilet rock star and kept me on my toes along with her oft-pottying sister.

They are loving the m 'n ms they get, I am loving not nearly as many messes and the virtual end of diapers as we know them. They still need help while sleeping (although Abigail has gone many nap times and three of the last four nights completely dry!), but I'll take the occasional pull-up or diaper over all day diapers. Oh, yes.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Our little excursion

Before Jim's folks came up for their visit, they generously offered to watch the kids so we could get away for a night. I had envisioned driving to Seward or Homer or Talkeetna, and then we got an offer we couldn't refuse: a night in Prince William Sound on a friend's boat. Oh, yeah!

We left (last) Tuesday afternoon in time to hit the 4:30 Whittier tunnel opening and were in Whittier by 4:40 or so. The tunnel is the longest Railroad-Highway tunnel in North America, in case you're interested. Shortly after arriving and paying far too much in parking fees, we set off for the Sound. The weather was lovely, the temperature very warm and the water was fairly calm. Once we got going into more open water, we had a great breeze to cool us off. On our way to our final destination, we stopped off and dropped four shrimp pots into the water.

We traveled for about three and a half hours and ended up anchoring off in Culross Bay. We fired up the grill and Jim cooked the steaks we had brought along for dinner. I have come to believe that steak just tastes better if you're on a boat. I'm not usually a steak fan but I devoured my helping Tuesday night.

After supper, our friends tried starting up the engine on the little dinghy, but it would not oblige. We were quite content to stay on board and chat into the evening. We did discover that the mechanism to bring up the anchor wasn't working properly, so we all knew we might be pulling up the anchor by hand in the morning.

After waking, Jim and I both sat out on the deck, reading in the sun. What a wonderful way to wake up. And after a delightful skillet breakfast, Jim, one of our friends and I made off for one of the beaches--two ladies rowing the dinghy, Jim paddling a kayak.

There were pilings from an old dock and an old mill or mine somewhere nearby. We strolled on the beach first, each taking turns skipping stones. I know the photo next to this paragraph doesn't do it justice, but the stones looked SO cool on the beach. Some were flat, but many were upright in groups, angled here and there and everywhere. Jim was the best stone skipper of the three of us, often skipping a stone upwards of 15 times. (if that doesn't sound remarkable, then increase the number in your head until you think it's remarkable...he's good)

We did take a short walk up the hill, but had to hurry back because it was already getting late (had to go back home at some point, right?). We knew the anchor might take a while to pull up. I rowed us back, frontways, because I seemed to be incapable of rowing straight while my back was toward my destination. Jim and our friend began the task of figuring out the best way to pull up over a hundred feet of chain and the anchor and I stood nearby, completely unhelpful. I did take a few photos, but they're not the most flattering so I refrained from posting them. Thankfully, pulling up the anchor was easier than expected and we were shortly on our way.

Fresh from the anchor success, Jim enthusiastically suggested we try pulling up the shrimp pots...all 900 feet of rope and four pots. Our friends were skeptical, having much more knowledge of what that might entail than Jim, but they were game. Once we arrived at the 'pot spot', the guys figured out how to set themselves up to pull and continued to adapt their approach as the pulling went on and on and on.... Jim would wind part of the rope around one forearm and then walk backwards as our friend pulled at the bow. Then he'd walk forward, one of us gals would wind the rope into a bucket, and then Jim would once again walk backward, pulling rope with him. It took the better part of an hour, but we all did it (I even pulled for a short was HEAVY).

You can see how ready Jim was to dig in to our catch!

Jim and I learned how to pull off their heads (Jim) and how to cook them quickly to peel them more easily (me). We ended up with 112 shrimp--our friends let us take all of them.

We got back into Whittier in good time, but couldn't make the next tunnel opening (3 minutes wasn't enough time!). That gave us a tiny bit of time to tool around Whittier, which is all the time we needed. We got some ice cream, strolled by the few shops and then hit the road home.

The kids were quite excited about the shrimp and the girls helped shell them. For dinner, we had Shrimp Three Ways courtesy of Jim's culinary skills. Grilled with Cajun seasoning, boiled for shrimp cocktail, and sauteed with garlic and onion on the stove. All three were yummy and we had a most glorious feast. Abigail, especially, enjoyed the shrimp and kept saying "more dat pease" while pointing to shrimp.

We had an absolutely wonderful time and will gladly accept any and all invitations to future boat trips.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Let them eat cake Abigail calls it, 'birthday'.

Moriah (with a little help from me) made a peach 'cobbler' tonight for dinner. It was soooo easy, with three ingredients: canned peaches, cake mix and butter. That's it. Really. And it's oh so yummy.

Abigail seemed quite aware of the fact that there was a sweet thing for dessert. She often says "cookie?" after meals, but tonight she asked "birthday?" With Samuel's and Jim's recent birthdays, the babes loved having the birthday cakes, so Abigail's renamed 'cake'. Now every cake is festive. Sounds good to me.

Everyone had enjoyed their first serving, and there was about a third of the pan left. I asked the table at large if we should just finish it. The general consensus was "duh, yes!" Thus ended the 'birthday'.


subdued celebration

Let's hear three cheers for Abigail, who is essentially potty trained.

Hip hip, hooray!
Hip hip, hooray!
Hip hip, hooray!

She's been dry during most nap times this past week, she's not had an accident while waking for many many days (beyond a couple of ill-fated attempts at cleaning up a poopy pull-up after nap...don't ask), and she can get herself to the toilet quickly when she announces "my potty!". I have even brought her little potty seat with us to the park and today's soccer game so she'd have a 'friendly' place to potty (she's really not a fan of porta-potties). Yes, I dump her potty outside. Away from where anyone would be walking. (please don't tell me it's gross...much better than a wet mess if she can't hold it!).

So why is this celebration subdued? Because Bethany seems determined to NOT potty train. She's had multiple accidents on the floor and furniture (yes, yuck) and seems content to hold it until she can't hold it anymore...then she lets it go wherever she is. Joy. I've decided to keep her in diapers or pull-ups primarily from now on and hope that her sister's example will put enough pressure on her to try again. Sigh.

But hey, Abigail's got it, so we're half-way there! Yay!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


The Forest Fair began on Friday, but the parade was on Saturday morning. They shut down our highway for an hour or so and our volunteer fire department leads the parade, with lights on all of their trucks and tankers flashing and the occasional horn blast.

Samuel was on The o> Shop float, clearly demonstrating his pride in wearing the ice cream suit (which was his idea in the first place). When asked about his 'victory' pose, he said he was an 'epic' ice cream cone. ??? Whatever kind he was, I thought he was cute.

Susannah came along shortly thereafter, twirling her baton with a couple of her friends. She's been taking 'lessons' from a local gal who had the girls working on a routine, but then this gal didn't follow through with organizing the girls for the parade. Susannah took it upon herself to get some girls to twirl and had a good time twirling her way down the street.

Jim and the babes rode along with the Lions Club float. Moriah was in the back of the blue truck, but she was on the far side and I missed getting her photo. I'm sure she was busy throwing candy to kids when this picture was taken. The little girls seemed to have fun being in their first parade.

Jim and the babes came home after the parade, but the three older kids all met up with friends and stayed at the fair for a while. Moriah and Susannah seemed to have a good day...they ate, they played, they bought stuff, they spent too much money, they strolled around and then they went and spent the night with their unicycling friend.

Samuel very sweetly came home by mid-afternoon so that Jim and I could head down before our shift in the t-shirt shack. We had heard that most of this year's Forest Fair 'souvenir' clothing was already sold, so we weren't sure how busy we'd be. Turns out that for the first time ever, the gal in charge of the clothing stuffs was taking orders for a select few items. She'd never sold virtually everything by Friday, and felt badly. It was good in a way, because it showed the support folks had for the fair returning this year. But it was bad, too, since so many people couldn't get what they wanted.

Our two-hour shift went quickly and was as fun as usual. I worked the cash register and Jim and another friend fielded requests for what was left and previous years' items. I always enjoy chatting with locals and visitors and love my time in the shack. You can see by my photo that I was quite enthusiastic about starting my shift.

If you work the t-shirt shack you get tickets for beer in the beer garden. I, of course, wouldn't be drinking the beer, but I took my two anyway. Jim, our friend and I all headed to the beer garden and the guys enjoyed their beers (including my two) as we chatted and listened to a local musician's band. A very pleasant way to end the evening.

Nothing else of note happened once we walked home, besides getting babies to bed. I'd like to say we watched fireworks, but we didn't. (I originally posted the same photo from my previous post...duh...forgot that I had already made my point about it being too light.)

We were back at the Fair today for a bit, primarily to hear a music group called Rogues and Wenches. The kids' music teacher is a wench and we wanted to hear them sing. They were great. Very entertaining and very bawdy. Thankfully, the double entendres weren't clear enough for younger kids to get. Jim, Betsy and I all walked around a bit afterwards so we could purchase a couple of things. I got some earrings that Jim will tell you look like paper clips. (They don't. Really.) Betsy found a small pottery pitcher. Jim found a potted plant combination that put him in mind of his long lost bonsai plant that I inadvertently killed. (oops!) And I found a necklace I liked that Betsy bought me as my early Christmas gift. Yay! (I also bought yet another chocolate chip raisin cookie. My third. Or fourth. Yum.)

All in all, a seemingly-relaxed three-day event with lovely weather, interesting booths, lively music and a little bit of everything for everyone.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Today's Forest Fair installment includes a parade, teen and tween independence and a stint in the t-shirt shack. But alas, more details will have to wait. It's been a long day and it look a long time to upload photos, 'watermark' them and then download them again.

But, for those of you who might wonder about fireworks on the 4th of July in a far-north state where it's light quite late (ooooh, that kinda rhymed), I took a photo out one of our big picture windows at around 11:30 pm. I'll let the picture speak its own 1000 words.

It'd be a little pointless, dontcha think? :o)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Forest Fair, part two

FYI, the Fair isn't as fun when you're chasing two 2 year olds.

Whoda thunk? *snort*

Forest Fair

I'm really looking forward to walking around the Forest Fair today. I like going on Friday because it's not as crowded as the rest of the weekend. We'll be braving it with the babes, too, so I'm hopeful that the sun will come out. But not tomorrow. Today.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Uh oh...urine trub-bull!

(Pathetic attempt at humor in the title...but it sums up the last hour or so of my and Bethany's lives...check out my little story.)

Picture if you will a small, curly-headed girl perched upon a toilet. She has announced her intention to go potty and you see that her mother is hopeful that this time, maybe, she will actually go potty. Did she, you wonder? No, says her sad mother, she did not.

Then picture that same child starting to have an accident on the rug and then resisting any efforts to place her on one (of three) of the small potties on the floor. You know she's about to go. You can tell she really has to go. You know that if her mother will just make her stay there, she'll eventually go.

Then picture that child's mother get rather frustrated as she tries everything in her arsenal to get that child to go to the bathroom: cajoling, tickling, bribing, physically keeping her on the little potty seat, stroking her back to relax her, distracting, reading. You name it, that desperate mother tried it. And guess what? No luck. Nothing but a few drops and nothing more because that determined little child can hold her potty like nobody's business.

Finally, dear readers, picture that mother taking the determined child upstairs to bed, but withholding the diaper the child so desires. The mother has decided to put the child to bed nekked, wet sheets and blankets be damned. The child is not happy. The child wants a diaper for bedtime. Wants to wear pants to bed, for pity's sake. Nope. The mother can be just as determined as that child.

And you know what? That child decided that she'd rather potty than sleep nekked. Yes!

Although the mother is rather tired and the child is a little wrung out emotionally. This wasn't fun. What is up with her resistance??? We'll see what tomorrow brings. Perhaps the mother has given the child a complex. :o)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


*grumble* I thought that the little girls had bedtime all squared away. They had been going to bed without much fuss and I was so very grateful. There have been two nights lately that they've been up and playing and being pains. I think it might be because of potty training. *Warning* likely TMI is coming next: they both hold in their bowel movements during the day and I'm wondering if they feel 'off' when they finally settle for the night. I don't know. Sigh. I do know that I'm very ready for them to be in bed at the end of the day and I'm not so patient with them. I sent Jim up tonight...another reason I'm glad he's home. We can share this burden chore parental task!

Jim's folks are here visiting. They came in about 30 minutes after Jim did last night and will be in Girdwood for a month. They'll be with us for about half the time and with the work team that is coming up from their church for the other half. Jim's parents have been great with their involvement with work teams coming up to work on the church. The team coming from their church is highly motivated and pretty skilled and I'm very excited to see how much work gets done while they're all here.

The little girls continue to amuse me with their speech and communication skills. Bethany has become quite the talker and is very clear in her words and inflection. And, as I think I mentioned before, she'll repeat anything you ask her to. Feel free to suggest some funny things and I'll be happy to try them out. Abigail isn't as adept at communicating and there are times you can almost see the wheels turning as she searches for the right word. But right now, my favorite thing Abigail says relates to 'foofushes' and 'foofushin'...can you guess what that is (no, nothing to do with flushing)?

Samuel took a spill on his bike today--got his knee, chin and left hand graveled up and both his hands hurt, in slighty different ways. He'll be sore tomorrow and I'm sure working with a sore right wrist won't be fun when scooping ice cream.

We've had more beautiful days and I'm looking out my window at 10:48, enjoying the lovely still-light night sky. I'm hoping to go on a hike tomorrow with some friends. The weather is supposed to hold. And if it does, then we'll also be putting a coat of sealant on our deck tomorrow. A friend of ours built it late last summer, too late for warm enough weather to seal it. Jim power washed it this afternoon and then power washed it again after Moriah and Susannah tracked grass and dirt on it after playing the sprinkler (yes! it was warm enough today for a run through the sprinkler!). Should be dry enough by tomorrow to get a coat of sealant on it.

I can't believe it's July already. This coming weekend is Girdwood's famous Forest Fair. It's a great three-day fair with food and booths full of handmade items and fun, starting off with a parade (several local organizations and groups walking approximately a half-mile in semi-organized groups). This year Samuel will be walking with The o> Shop float. Wearing an ice cream suit. Really. He had this silly idea as an advertising gimmick and suggested it to his boss. And she bought two ice cream suits. So Samuel is going for the goofy and wearing one of the suits. I'm sure I'll take some photos to share with you all. If you ever want to come visit us, come during Forest Fair. Totally worth the visit.